We’re just a week from Labor Day 2013—the day each year that we celebrate the incredible contributions of America’s working people. On our new “You Work Hard. You’ve Earned It” Labor Day website, you can find:
Nearly 1,000 people rallied on Capitol Hill today urging Republican lawmakers not to deny millions of aspiring citizens an opportunity to achieve the American dream. The rally of immigrants, their families, young DREAMers, union members and other immigration reform advocates reminded lawmakers a majority of the public supports commonsense immigration reform with a road map to citizenship and expects Congress to find a solution.
The U.S. Senate just voted 68–32 (with 14 Republicans joining all 54 Democrats) to approve immigration reform legislation that AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka says will move the nation “a big step closer” to building a commonsense immigration system that will allow millions of aspiring Americans to become citizens.
Now it is up to the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead by allowing a majority of House members to vote on a bill with a road map to citizenship.
In Miami Gardens, Fla., last night union leaders, immigration activists and elected officials called for comprehensive immigration reform—including a path to citizenship for the nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens—in another in the series of actions that are part of the AFL-CIO’s immigration reform campaign.
Christian Torres worked as a cook in the Pomona College dining hall for more than six years. Torres and 16 of his co-workers were fired from Pomona College for not re-verifying their work eligibility after the college asked for documents, which were requested while he was leading an effort to organize to form a union. Torres and his brother came to the United States while still teenagers to join their mother and father who were already in the U.S. He supports the movement to create a common-sense immigration process. Although Torres was fired from Pomona, he continues to support his co-workers in their struggle for better working conditions at the college.
The prospects for comprehensive immigration reform are the highest in years. Politicians on both sides of the aisle are currently negotiating a bill, and President Obama has stated that it is one of his top legislative priorities in 2013. Speculation abounds as to what may be included in a final package but, generally speaking, comprehensive reform of our immigration system would consist of four interconnected parts: border security, internal and worksite immigration enforcement, a system to manage future immigration to the United States and a road map to citizenship for the undocumented population currently living here. The union movement has a unified framework, which addresses these points.
A new poll shows that the vast majority of Americans support common sense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for current undocumented immigrants. The bipartisan poll found that 73 percent favored immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship for aspiring citizens and that requires immigrants to pay taxes, holds employers accountable for hiring legal workers and prevents them from exploiting immigrant labor and improves border security.
Immigrant families with a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen will no longer be torn from each other when a family member who is an aspiring citizen begins the process of obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States, under a new federal rule on immigration announced Wednesday. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano says the rule:
Facilitates the legal immigration process and reduces the amount of time that U.S. citizens are separated from their immediate relatives who are in the process of obtaining an immigrant visa.