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Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Senate Immigration Bill

The United States Senate today moved our country a big step closer to building a common sense 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 path to citizenship. 

Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team face a decision that will have ramifications for a generation: Block a roadmap 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. 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.  Unfortunately, the bill has become less inclusive, less compassionate and less just since it emerged from the Gang of 8’s bipartisan compromise.  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 roadmap to citizenship can be tolerated by the labor movement or our allies. 

As this bill goes forward, we renew our 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. 

Now it is time for action.  Working people are more committed than ever to enacting meaningful, common sense immigration reform with a real path to citizenship.

For information: Jeff Hauser (202) 637-5018

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