“This is the first time I see the Teamsters mobilize alongside TPS holders and it’s a good thing.”

Six big rigs driven by members of the Teamsters union pulled up in front of an immigration detention center in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday as dozens of people were protesting the Trump administration’s decision to end a program that temporarily granted legal status to thousands of immigrants.

The trucks’ presence symbolized what has become a rare and surprising alliance between a US labor organization and advocates for immigrants who may soon face deportation orders.

The decision by the Teamsters to combine their three-day strike over an independent contractor labor dispute with the fight for immigrants who are set to lose their legal status under the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program makes sense to union leaders. Many of their members would be vulnerable to detention and deportation if the revocation of their current immigration status goes forward.
More than 300,000 people set to lose TPS in the next year and many are union members, said Pablo Alvarado, the executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Unions representing port drivers, painters, and warehouse workers have no choice but to jump into the immigration debate over TPS.