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.
Trumka says House Speaker John Boehner and Republican leaders “face a decision that will have ramifications for a generation.”
Block a road map to citizenship vote, obstruct the will of overwhelming majorities of working people and face a generation of electoral decline—or support citizenship and embrace America’s diverse future.
There is much that works for working people in the Senate bill, he says.
Most of all, it allows people who are American in every way except on paper to come out of the shadows, lift themselves out of poverty and be recognized as contributors to our communities and our country.
But since the bipartisan Gang of 8 compromise was introduced in the spring, the bill has become, says Trumka, “less inclusive, less compassionate and less just.”
We will work to see the bill offer even more protections to workers, more access to needed benefits, a far less militarized, more sensible border security program and fewer obstacles to aspiring Americans. Clearly, no further compromise to the road map to citizenship can be tolerated by the labor movement or our allies.
Trumka also renews the AFL-CIO’s call to President Obama to ease the deportation crisis that is wrecking workforces, families and communities.
More than a thousand aspiring Americans are being deported every day for no reason other than the absence of a working immigration system in the United States of America.
Working people, says Trumka “are more committed than ever to enacting meaningful, commonsense immigration reform with a real path to citizenship.”