Comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship is essential to all of America’s workers, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a telephone press conference today, as he and Maria Elena Durazo, chair of the AFL-CIO’s immigration Committee, announced the labor movement’s campaign for a common-sense immigration process.
“We’re here today because we believe in a nation that values people’s work, their communities and their families,” Trumka said. “We believe that in order to create shared prosperity and a voice for all, we must address our immigration process. This is a top priority for America’s unions because a roadmap to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper is critical for all working people. Workers without the protections of citizenship are subject to enormous abuse by employers. That’s why the labor movement has been working with day laborers and domestic workers for years. We understand that solidarity means standing together with predominantly immigrant workforces to improve wages and workplace safety.”
Durazo said the campaign will be launched with events in 14 cities across the country. The first event took place yesterday in Raleigh, N.C., and next is an event in Las Vegas on Tuesday where more than a thousand working people will rally for immigration reform.
Trumka and Durazo said the AFL-CIO will deploy the labor movement’s political and grassroots infrastructure and the same system that has been used to elect and re-elect Barack Obama to engage working families nationwide to pass immigration reform.
“Remember how labor helped pass health care reform? How we helped elect and re-elect President Obama? That’s how we will help pass sensible, humane immigration reform with citizenship for the 11 million,” said Durazo.
Read more about upcoming campaign locations here.