Photo: Complaint Filed With UN Calling Alabama Immigration Law "Flagrant Violation of International Norms"
A group made up of civil and union rights organizations has filed a complaint with the United Nations regarding Alabama’s controversial immigration laws after urging Daimler AG and its shareholders to seek repeal of Alabama’s racial profiling law.
The complaint from Service Employees International Union (SEIU) was filed with the U.N.’s International Labour Organization Committee on Freedom of Association on Monday and states that Alabama law – known as HB 56 – violates international norms and says that the government’s inability to come up with a national immigration policy hurts workers and trade unions.
In a statement to Daimler AG, which produces Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Alabama, the SEIU and its affiliate, the Southern Regional Joint Board of Workers United wrote, “Until now, Daimler and Mercedes-Benz have been silent on this law which violates human rights, even though one of its German executives was arrested under the Alabama law.”
The complaint, submitted to the ILO Committee on Freedom of Association alleges the U.S. government’s “inability to act promptly and decisively to put in place a national policy related to immigration - attentive to international guarantees related to individual workers’ rights as well as to the rights of trade unions with immigrant members - has given the space to individual states to enact laws that are in flagrant violation of international norms.”
“The fact that the violations in this case are the work of an individual State, does not insulate the U.S. from responsibility,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina, in a letter that accompanied the complaint to the ILO. “Furthermore, the efforts of the executive branch of the U.S. government to challenge the law are simply insufficient to protect these workers and our trade union now, or into the future, without a deeper commitment to federal legislative reform.”