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AFL-CIO Now

Working Families Call on the Senate to Strengthen Worker Protections, Keep Families Together in Immigration Reform Bill

Worker protections, a road map to citizenship, family unification...these are the priorities of union members and working families this week as the Senate Judiciary Committee continues its markup of the immigration reform bill. 

Today, Republican senators are debating the SAFE Act, which would increase inhumane detentions and harmful policies that tear families apart from each other. 

"Instead of leaning in to the deportation crisis, House Republicans are on the brink of trying to make it even worse for working families," said Ana Avendaño, assistant to the president and director of Immigration and Community Action at the AFL-CIO. "If the stakes were not so high, this morally and politically tone deaf response to the deportation crisis would be a farce. Instead, it is a tragedy."

Instead of throwing up obstacles that will make it even harder for aspiring citizens to come out of the shadows, America's working families are focused on worker protections, keeping families together and ensuring a commonsense road map to citizenship are cornerstones of this important legislation. 

Politico reporter Seung Min Kim wrote the AFL-CIO will fight:

[E]nacting additional barriers for undocumented immigrants to become legalized, denying immigrants federal benefits and tampering with a new guest-worker program it negotiated with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

In a four-page letter sent to senators Monday evening, the AFL-CIO also said they would fight to reinstate the original agreement on H-1B workers—a deal that was changed during the committee markup to placate Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and the high-tech community, much to the dismay of unions.

“This is the preeminent civil rights issue of our time and the AFL-CIO will continue to dedicate the full resources of our federation to ensure that we achieve this vital goal,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wrote in the letter, provided to Politico.

Meanwhile in Nevada, the Nevada AFL-CIO is running ads and webisodes highlighting immigrants and working families calling on Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) to support a commonsense immigration process and to uphold the American Dream.

Ralston Reports took note of the new videos in Nevada and posted two webisodes on its website. 

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