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AFL-CIO, SEIU, UFCW Urge Senate Leaders to Move Comprehensive Immigration Reform Forward

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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 07:29 AM
Original message
AFL-CIO, SEIU, UFCW Urge Senate Leaders to Move Comprehensive Immigration Reform Forward
http://www.seiu.org/2010/03/afl-cio-seiu-ufcw-urge-sena...

""We praise your continued leadership to reach across the aisle to craft a comprehensive fix to the broken immigration system that is prolonging the economic crisis and hurting working families. We collectively represent over 15 million American workers, some born here and others who have migrated from elsewhere to work for this great country. Although there are aspects of your plan that cause us concern, we view it as a work in progress and are confident that the details can be worked out as your framework is turned into legislation and works its way towards enactment.

Both U.S. born and immigrant workers are badly served by our current broken immigration laws which allow employers to divide and exploit workers, are a drag on our nation's economy, and cause unnecessary suffering. We need to replace them with a system that levels the playing field as we fight for better wages and working conditions for all workers.

The labor movement came together about a year ago to urge passage of an immigration system that works better for America's workers and we remain absolutely united in that goal. At that time, we explained that immigration reform must be a component of a shared prosperity agenda that raises the standard of living and quality of life of all workers. Since then, we have rolled up our sleeves and worked hard to enact this sorely needed reform, including good faith efforts to find common ground with business and other diverse stakeholders around an immigration reform proposal that works for America."

"We are a nation that respects hard work, family and the pursuit of the American Dream. Our immigration system must hold true to these principles. This is an instance where upholding our principles is also good for the bottom line. It is estimated that comprehensive immigration reform would grow the economy by as much as $1.5 trillion. We believe that a just, fair and practical compromise is very much within reach if there is political leadership and if all sides are willing to agree on a framework that:

* Preserves the rights of all workers,
* Accurately matches the numbers and conditions of entry of newcomers to labor shortages in our economy with the flexibility necessary to meet the legitimate needs of employers, and
* Is consistent with American values."
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd like to see just how amnesty
would grow the economy. Perhaps whoever came up with the idea that it would is thinking about the new illegal immigrants that would come up to take the jobs that the newly documented would lose.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I believe the unions are referring to this study when the link immigration reform and the economy.
"Raising the Floor for American Workers"

http://www.immigrationpolicy.org/special-reports/raisin...

"...legalizing undocumented workers through comprehensive immigration reform would yield $1.5 trillion to the U.S. GDP over a ten year period, generate billions in additional tax revenue and consumer spending and support hundreds of thousands of jobs."

"...raises the floor for all American workers."

"Immigration reform advocates said linking economic recovery and immigration reform seems counterintuitive, but the report shows that they are closely connected."

Apparently the unions believe the evidence in this study since they cite its conclusions in their letter to the senators.

But the conservative Federation for American Immigration Reform disagrees without citing studies to back up their contention. "...even with legal status, many immigrants would continue to work in low-wage jobs, meaning their tax revenue wouldn't make much of a difference to the economy. Also, legalization would flood the labor market and drive down wages rather than increase them, he said." (When you can't cite evidence you go with your gut, I guess, and appeal to emotion.")

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan/07/local/la-me-imm...
-----------------------------
And please, the "A" word - the favorite of Fox, Rush, Glenn, Lou, the republicans and teabaggers. If Obama does decide to push for immigration reform soon, you'll be hearing "amnesty" 10 times in every speech made by a republican and on every sign held by a teabagger. You'll notice the unions,activists, and progressives in congress don't use it. But freedom of speech and all, go right ahead.
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customerserviceguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
11. I still don't see any economic benefit
to legalizing the illegal immigrants in this country. I figure that unscrupulous American businesses (particularly the hospitality industry) and farmers will always be looking for those they can mistreat and underpay, and if it's not the current group of people without documents, then it will be those who follow in their place.

As for the "A" word, well, if you break a law, then you get forgiveness for it, what else do you call it? If I were to work under Jose Jimenez's Social Security card with number "123-45-6789" on it, they'd be busting me for identity fraud, which is currently a crime for citizens of the US.

I'm in a union that is AFL-CIO, but they sure didn't ask my opinion before the leadership sounded off on what they're saying is my opinion on immigration reform.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 06:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. The AFL-CIO blog had this to say

R for this post btw.

Holt Baker: Broken Immigration System Benefits Corporations

http://blog.aflcio.org/2010/03/22/holt-baker-broken-imm...

by Tula Connell, Mar 22, 2010

Some 200,000 people turned out in Washington, D.C., Sunday for a massive rally in support of immigration reform. Among the speakers, AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker thanked the organizers of the rally, saying:

NOTHING in this country is more powerful than people united for change. And do we ever need change. We are here, as a united labor movement to tell Congress that we MUST pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The broken system is benefiting the very same corporate giants who destroyed our economy. It is allowing those corporations to exploit workers by underpaying them, or not paying them at all, simply because of their immigration status. As long as employers have a pool of workers who are too scared to complain, those corporations will continue to profit and workplace standards will continue to go down.


AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker told the crowd Sunday that the broken immigration systems allows employers to exploit workers.


he AFL-CIO calls for immigration reform include:

* Legalization for the undocumented.
* An independent commission to assess and manage future immigration based on real needs and real labor market shortages.
* A secure, effectiveand fairworker authorization mechanism.
* Rational control of U.S. borders.
* Improvement, not expansion, of temporary worker programs, limited to temporary, not permanent, jobs.

These are the principles of the labor movementwe are united in support.

Immigration reform is one of many changes that are desperately needed if we are going to give all working families a fair shot at the American Dream. Working together, we have to change this system.


Some 200,000 supporters of immigration reform gathered in Washington, D.C., yesterday.



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Craftsman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
2. Lets see official unemployment is at about 10%
real unemployment is at about 20% and they want to legalize these illegals. No way, deport them so Americans can get the jobs.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:03 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Many in Greece would agree with you.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/mar/16/world/la-fg-gre...

Ancient Greece gave the world the word "xenophobia." Modern Greece is providing examples of it.

Hamad Amiri, a young Afghan immigrant, arrived to work at his brother's cellphone store in Athens on a recent morning only to find that someone had gummed up the lock overnight. Scrawled in yellow paint on the shop's metal screen were the words "Foreigners Out," accompanied by the insignia of a far-right organization known as Golden Dawn. A few months before that, a group of tough-looking young men barged into the shop one evening and ordered Amiri to close up for the night. Not the Greek-owned businesses in the area, said Amiri, 22; just theirs. "They said, 'If you don't close, we'll break everything.' We were scared," he recalled. "What else could I do?"

"You can see it in the faces of Greeks; there's a lot of uncertainty. They don't feel secure in the whole environment, and of course they want to put the blame on someone," Antypas said. "And who will be easy to blame? The immigrants."

Athens and its environs, home to nearly one-third of all of Greece's inhabitants, have witnessed a number of clashes in recent months pitting immigrants and their defenders against right-wing extremists.

The latest target of anti-immigrant ire is a government proposal to offer citizenship to children of non-Greek parents if they meet such requirements as having spent several years in Greek schools. Rights groups laud the ruling Socialists for working to establish a coherent legal framework for immigrants. Prime Minister George Papandreou said the bill, put forward last month, reflected Greek values of democracy and equality.
-------------------------
In Greece the Socialist government is trying to protect and integrate immigrants into society while right-wing extremists attack them and right wing parties scapegoat them. Anti-immigrant sentiment is always concentrated in right wing parties, like the British National Party, the National Front (France) and others - each country seems to have one, including Greece - at least in Europe.

Here we (even the left, not just the teabaggers) go after immigrants rather than the real cause of economic distress which is the elites who have engineered tax cuts for the rich, deregulation of the financial industry and corporations, weakened labor unions, and shredded the social safety net. The elites probably smile when we waste our energy fighting with immigrants over their crumbs rather than uniting with them as the unions envision by pushing this immigration reform proposal.
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Craftsman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Many in America as well
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. Then let's hope our government recognizes the value of immigrants as the Greek socialist government
does. If a left wing government in a country not historically accustomed to immigration can protect immigrants against right wing extremists and demagogues and facilitate the immigrants' integration into Greek society, I don't see why a country built on immigration can't do the same.

Apparently American unions agree. On the other hand, I'm sure Rush and the boys at FOX can't wait to pull out the 2007 "amnesty bill" rants and recycle them in 2010 or whenever Obama decides to go forward with immigration reform. That probably what is making him pause, but he has the support of organized labor and the progressive caucus in the house so I wish he would go for it now. Let the teabaggers foam at the mouth and spit out their favorite terms for Hispanics and let the country see who they really are (even moreso that in the health care debate).
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. If capital is free to move across borders without restriction, so must labor be free to do so.
Otherwise, the equation becomes unbalanced and we end up with economic jibberish.

Bring all workers into the union without regard to nationality.
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Craftsman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Bravo Sierra, money are not people
Americans need jobs, and teh illegals need to go.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Myopia
The only way the people will stay put is if the capital stays put also.

Take your pick, but you can't have one without the other.

It is as concrete and real as gravity; labor follows capital.
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Craftsman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 10:42 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Then capital should stay as well.
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RB TexLa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Americans need jobs? Other people don't? Oh, I guess they don't matter

not the way an American matters. Sorry, but you are less than human.
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Omaha Steve Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-24-10 08:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. The New Colossus: "Give me your tired, your poor, (on the Statue of Liberty)

3/4 of my family tree came to the US to find fame and fortune. I never knew it was time to remove the statue from her pedestal. There was a time the Chinese, or Irish were not wanted in the US either.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Colossus

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883




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