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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 07:07 AM
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AFL-CIO, SEIU, UFCW Urge Senate Leaders to Move Comprehensive Immigration Reform Forward

Letter from unions to Sen. Schumer and Sen. Graham:

"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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