As the Trump administration takes its fight against undocumented workers to the workplace, some US unions are stepping in to protect their members and creating a new battlefront between the Republican party and organized labor.
Last May Hugo Mejía Murguía, an undocumented worker from northern California, got a call to report to work. It was a shift that would change his life and launch a national campaign.
When he arrived at the Travis air force base in Fairfield, California, military police called Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) after seeing his California driver’s license indicated his undocumented status. Ice also detained a second worker, Rodrigo Núñez.
“My life just changed in only five or 10 minutes. I felt like I lost everything,” the father of three told the Guardian.
Two weeks later when his wife came to visit him in an immigration detention center, much to his amazement, he learned that his union, the Painters Union Local 82, was hiring a lawyer to represent him.