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Common Sense Immigration System and Workers’ Rights

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by

Jenn Kauffman

on 12 February 2014

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Transcript of Common Sense Immigration System and Workers’ Rights

The Solution:
Common Sense Immigration System & Workers’ Rights
What Do We Hear About Immigrants & Immigration?
Myth #2
Myth #1
"Immigration reform means more competition for fewer jobs"
Immigration isn't something my union should focus on
Myth #3
"Immigrants come here to use our welfare and they don’t pay taxes."
Myth #4
"Immigrants can just get in line to become citizens. They should wait in line like everyone else."
Why do we hear many of these concerns about immigrants & immigration?
The Facts:
Immigration reform would create LESS competition by raising working standards and protecting good jobs.
"Immigration reform only benefits immigrants – it doesn’t affect me"
The Facts:
Raising wages & working standards benefits EVERYONE.

Reform with a roadmap to citizenship would yield at least $
1.5 trillion over 10 years in added GDP.
The Facts:
Out-of-status immigrant families paid
more
in taxes than General Electric in 2010 - paying $11.2 billion in state & local taxes.
Immigration reform means less jobs for people like me
Immigrants come here to get on welfare
They should come here the right way
For many immigrants, there is no line to get into.

If you are lucky enough to be able to get in line – the process takes decades. Currently 4 million aspiring citizens are waiting in the backlogs.
The Facts:
Divide & Conquer
Strategy
Unscrupulous Bosses' Bag of Tricks
To Erode the Middle Class
Violate labor law
Weaken union power
Ignore labor standards
Practice misclassification & wage theft
Between 10-30%
Employers misclassify their workers as independent contractors
Bosses who misclassify can
Lower payroll
By up to 30%
Deaths on the Job
60% of workers have never received basic safety training
More workers die than in any other state
50% are out-of-status
Poverty Wages
Struggling families
Less spending & tax revenue
Overall
economic decline
Unified worker power
Building Trades &
Make the Road NY:
"...agreement requires Signal to pay back wages to hundreds of workers totaling $512,026"
Relief for Hurricane Sandy Cleanup Workers
Common-sense immigration reform
June 2013:
Senate voted 68-32 in favor of a bipartisan comprehensive bill.

Includes roadmap to citizenship & improves worker protections.
GOP currently refuses to consider a comprehensive bill. Their piecemeal plan does NOT include a roadmap to citizenship.

House Democrats, however, have introduced a bill that mimics the Senate version.


STATE OF PLAY
Now it's up to the House to follow the Senate's lead.

GOP should allow a vote on the Senate bill that protects workplace rights and includes a roadmap to citizenship.
The Solution
Labor's interconnected framework for reform
Roadmap to Citizenship
Effective Work
Authorization
Rational Control
Of the Border
Independent Bureau

Labor Market Needs
Improve (Not Expand)
Temporary Worker
Programs
to determine
S 744: Highlights
Fixes Hoffman Plastic
Whistleblower protections
Regulation of labor recruiters
Protections in E-verify
Anti-discrimination provision slightly improved
Some improvements in H-1B program
Legalization of undocumented
S 744: Low-lights
Mandatory E-verify
H-1B protections weak
Creates a new class of people in long-term temporary status with no access to social safety net or health care
New significant enforcement measures
Moves immigration system from family-based to employment based: Point system
That's more than GE paid in 2010!
Presented by:
www.aflcio.org/immigration
Full transcript