State Watch

NY Teamsters train to be ‘sanctuary union,’ protect members from immigration officials


About 120,000 Teamsters across Long Island and New York City are preparing to become a “sanctuary union” and learn how to deal with immigration officials at their workplaces, The New York Daily News reports.

Supervisors and front-line workers are learning about their rights and how they can respond when officials come to their place of work. 

Training topics include learning about different types of warrants and what constitutes a raid. They are also being trained on how to respond if union members are stopped while driving or confronted at home.


The training urges members to honor the principle of union solidarity before immigration laws, according to the report.

The Teamsters are looking to challenge federal immigration officials after a member — Eber Garcia Vasquez — was deported in August to Guatemala after he showed up to a routine appointment.

He had no criminal record, according to the Daily News.

“We were all appalled at what happened to Eber,” Teamsters Joint Council 16 President George Miranda told the Daily News at a sanctuary training meeting last week.

“Eber is part of our family — we in the Teamsters rely on each other to get through the tough times,” he said.

Miranda said that after Garcia Vasquez was deported, the group “saw and felt that concern, and we are responding to it.”

“And that includes all our members, from all backgrounds,” he said. “When we’re out on strike, we’re all the same on the picket line — what matters is that you’re a Teamster, and fighting with us.”

According to the Daily News, immigrants make up a third of the group.

Tags Immigration Immigration law Sanctuary city Teamsters trucking industry
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