The time for immigration reform is now, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said to union leaders today. This will be a focus for labor in 2013. Hardworking immigrant families came to this country for the promise of freedom and the opportunity to provide a better life for their children—even if it meant uprooting their families. Working families are all the better for having hardworking new immigrants as contributing members of the communities, with full rights and equal protections. The country needs to create a common-sense immigration process with a road map to citizenship.
Little more than a month ago, President Obama was re-elected by a coalition of Latino, African American, Asian and union voters who represent the changing face of America. Voters soundly rejected the pro-corporate and anti-immigrant agenda advanced by those who have stood in the way of comprehensive immigration reform. The president enters his second term with a mandate to fight for and pass immigration reform that includes a road map to citizenship for aspiring Americans who love this country and call it home. And we must be ready to help lead that campaign.
The current immigration policy breaks up families, stifles opportunities for new American immigrants and allows low-end employers to take advantage of workers and pursue a race to the bottom in wages and labor standards. This affects union members, our communities and workers everywhere.
Members of our unions, like the rest of the American public, strongly support inclusive reform that reflects our shared values: dignity, fairness, opportunity, voice and justice.
Watch the video in the post to hear Trumka talk about creating a common-sense immigration process.