AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration bill:
Today brings to mind Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s wise and hopeful words, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”
More than 11 million aspiring Americans took a big step toward becoming citizens today with the bipartisan Senate Judiciary Committee vote. That reflects an enormous step toward healing an injustice, the deportation crisis that has wrecked families, communities and workplaces for far too long.
The next step, of course, is not to rest on this accomplishment, but rather to redouble labor’s campaign for a road map to citizenship. That will mean everything from old school lobbying to new school social media in conjunction with new and longstanding allies.
We appreciate the work done by the Gang of Eight, as well as all those senators—both Democrats and Republicans—who engaged in good faith in the arduous job of advancing this bill. We applaud the progress by the Judiciary Committee, but we will still work to make a good bill even better. We will continue to pursue constructive amendments where needed—whether on family reunification, skilled-worker visas, worker protections or the Uniting American Families Act.
But our bottom line remains the same: a reliable, inclusive road map to citizenship for sisters and brothers who are American in all but paper. The Senate Judiciary Committee clears that bar readily and we look forward to helping move it to President Obama’s desk expeditiously.