NCLR congratulates SEIU on 90th anniversary (Janet Murguia, Eliseo Medina)

Janet Murguia of the National Council of La Raza has written a letter to the Service Employees International Union congratulating them on their 90th anniversary. In it she gives a shout-out to their International Secretary Treasurer Eliseo Medina and commends them for their work on comprehensive immigration reform, aka amnesty. (Note: see all those links for background information).

She also references how the SEIU "recognized early on that their membership was changing and growing more diverse". In other words, the SEIU realized that all those illegal aliens could be organized to form a power base, no matter their impact on the American workers with whom they were in competition. The SEIU is indirectly profiting from illegal activity: they gladly take union dues from those who are working in contravention to our laws. Oddly enough, that didn't make it into Murguia's note (

On behalf of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) familia, I would like to congratulate SEIU on its 90th Anniversary. NCLR values its long partnership with SEIU. Together, we have worked to fix our broken immigration system, improve working conditions and the quality of life for all of America's workers, and empower the many in our nation whose voices have all too often been ignored.

SEIU has been a pioneer in the labor movement when it comes to the Latino community. Their visionary leadership recognized early on that their membership was changing and growing more diverse. What they did with that recognition should serve as a model for not only the labor movement but for other institutions in American society.

SEIU invested significant resources in reaching out and serving this growing constituency. They made Latinos a key part of the union's decision-making leadership such as our good friend colleague, SEIU's International Secretary Treasurer, Eliseo Medina. And they made the critically important decision to focus their efforts beyond just their membership to helping the entire Latino community advance.

When the Latino community has needed SEIU, they have been there. For nearly a decade, SEIU has been at the center of the effort to enact comprehensive immigration reform. When Latino organizations called for a boycott of Arizona in the wake of the notorious racial profiling law, SB 1070, SEIU joined the fight. And SEIU joined with NCLR and others last November in releasing a poll on the Latino vote to ensure that neither party neglects or writes off the Latino community.

As the recent 2010 Census numbers clearly demonstrate, SEIU was ahead of its time in realizing the importance of the Latino community to America's future. But as our continued challenges also clearly demonstrate, there will continue to be a need for our organizations to work together to address the critical needs of all our communities, protect all of America's workers, and strive for justice for all those who call our country home.