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The Time Is Now for Immigration Reform

February 26, 2013

In 2009, after consultation with faith and community leaders, the labor movement came together in support of a framework for immigration reform that reflects our shared values: dignity, fairness, opportunity, voice and justice. 

The framework is based on the simple idea that working people are strongest when we work together and the labor movement is strongest when we are open to all workers, regardless of where they come from. It advocates for keeping families together, creating a road map to citizenship and halting the race to the bottom in wages and worker standards by employers who are taking advantage of our failures in immigration policy. The framework proposes a data-driven approach to immigration that would determine future visas based on labor market needs, as well as the improvement—not expansion—of guest worker visa programs that too often deny basic civil rights to immigrant workers. The framework also recognizes that a new immigration system must include rational operational control of our borders supplemented by effective work authorization mechanisms that hold employers accountable.   

The time for reform is now. In November, American voters soundly rejected the pro-corporate and anti-immigrant agenda advanced by those who have stood in the way of comprehensive reform. President Obama enters his second term with a mandate to fight for and pass immigration reform. Members of our unions, like the rest of the American public, strongly support reform that includes a road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans who love this country and call it home. As this process moves forward, it is essential the American public have confidence that our borders are secure.

America’s unions remain committed to working together with one voice, along with our civil rights, faith and community partners, to pass fundamental reform that encompasses these principles. The time is now. 

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