Raising Labor Conditions And Immigration Reform

We have proven that regular folks, coming together for a common cause can break the inertia of the status quo in Washington. Even when faced with an angry, vindictive wall of lies and intimidation by special interest mobs.

It is the effort of so many giving so much of their talent, time and money to see this through, that has finally made positive, progressive change a reality. Nice Work!

For working families this was a momentous win Richard Trumpka President of the AFL-CIO said Sunday,

The legislation will finally put us on a path toward quality, affordable, health care for all Americans and long-term health security. Overcoming a $100 million opposition campaign by the insurance industry, the legislation stops insurance companies from denying health care due to a preexisting health condition and dropping coverage for people who get sick. It stops the relentless rise of health care cost and expands coverage for 32 million Americans. The legislation makes prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and helps small business struggling with skyrocketing cost. It is projected by the Congressional Budget Office to save 1.3 trillion over the next two decades.

We’ve won the right for quality, affordable health care, and we’ve run a mad, befuddled GOP back into the wilderness. But the fight is far from over.

Immigration reform is another battlefield that is as critical as it is challenging. Schumer and Graham have a plan that has the backing of the Chamber but has failed to bring the AFL-CIO back to the bargaining table:

Our framework would facilitate this desired circular migration by allowing employers to hire immigrants if they can show they were unsuccessful in recruiting an American to fill an open position; allowing more lower-skilled immigrants to come here when our economy is creating jobs and fewer in a recession; and permitting workers who have succeeded in the workplace, and contributed to their communities over many years, the chance to earn a green card.

In the Chambers words, this is their “raison d’être” for immigration reform:

From the business perspective the most important element of immigration reform is a program to supply the U.S. economy with the workers it needs to recover from the downturn and grow in years ahead, replacing the current unlawful influx with a legal flow.

The goal of the Chamber, generally speaking, has always been to crack the critical solidarity of union labor. Rather than the Chamber arguing to revitalize the economy by raising wages for families they are lobbying for a policy of downward pressure on workers earning potential, using immigrant labor, desperate for work, to do their union scabbing for them. The Chamber claims the wealth generated from the productivity of cheap labor will lead to trickle down prosperity for us all. I have my doubts…

The Chamber’s position of a revolving door immigration policy will undercut collective bargaining, lower the demand for labor and lower working conditions and wages.

The Chamber says it needs cheap immigrant labor to do the work Americans won’t do.

Rather than bringing in cheap labor to work in poor conditions shouldn’t we first fight for to strengthen the ability of  labor to expand the middle class and raise the conditions and wages to meet America’s more exceptional standards. Giving workers a real opportunity for economic mobility.

If working conditions are so deplorable that Americans won’t do the job for the wages offered, it seems counterproductive to undermine the efforts of collective bargaining to raise those standards with non-union workers. How can an economically regressive position on immigration result in economic growth for middle class working families.

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3 Responses to Raising Labor Conditions And Immigration Reform

  1. Ole Ole Olson March 23, 2010 at 4:44 am

    I think this is a pivotal discussion we need to have. We need to create the situation in America where we do not have a permanent underclass, and at the moment, big business is trying to use predominantly latino immigrants to do this.

  2. Wes Rackley March 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

    We’ve gone a long way. I think even people who have been working on HCR since the beginning will be pleasantly surprised by it’s impact on economic mobility. Just think, no longer will the fear of illness impact entrepreneurial decisions our employment. choices. HCR under the federal government also mitigates its weight at the union bargaining table, making more room for higher wages. But, as President Obama said this isn’t just legislation, we are defining “the character of our country.” Immigration reform will also be very descriptive of who we are as a nation.

  3. Brittanicus March 23, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    No amnesty, No Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). They keep repeating the–SAME TIRED NUMBER–but the US border Patrol in just the Tuscon sector, expressed, “Only one out of ten is caught.” The Tucson sector Border Patrol union local 2544 on the number of illegal aliens in our nation: “There are currently 15 to 20 million illegal aliens in this country by many estimates, but the real numbers could be much higher and the numbers increase every day because our borders are not secure (NO MATTER WHAT THE POLITICIANS TELL YOU-DON’T BELIEVE THEM FOR ONE SECOND) Said a Spokesman for the Border Patrol. “Our illegal immigration numbers are based on an estimated twenty million illegal aliens having been present in our nation as of -JANUARY 1, 2004.”almost four million people crossed our borders illegally 2002” end of quote. Other experts on the subject agree that illegal crossings have only increased since then. Please don’t believe my numbers? Go to the US Census Bureau and read we could have a population of 438 million people by 2040, unless we halt this travesty for good?

    Americans cannot afford 10 million more families. Foreign nationals are very knowledgeable at cheating the IRS and the US taxpayer. They can even get child credits for their children, either not in America or in some other country. Once those here receive appropriate green cards they can then sponsor immediate family member, including people with infirmities as long as they are financial sponsored. But this is a joke, because once here the law–IS NOT ENFORCED. They then become public charges. They can collect Supplementary Security income (SSI) and other benefits. The number can never be truly calculated? Even the US Census will be off the mark, because hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions will stay silent. Now the number of illegal immigrants who have no intention of renewing their entry visa, or have slipped past the Border Patrol (Canada and Mexico, South American countries and islands) must be deported.

    We need professional and highly skilled workers, but not desperate uneducated, non-or semi-skilled. We have millions of Americans and legal residents in that category. Guest workers for farms and agriculture, but they must stay in that job until their visa expires. No options!.Then go home? California the SANCTUARY STATE, ARIZONA & NEW YORK have been bled dry.

    The true estimate of foreign nationals in America is somewhere between 20 and 30 million? If AMNESTY is forced through the numbers will skyrocket, as countless numbers will be ready to bridge the border, just before President Obama signs the new reform. (with the females and kids this would amount to 40-50 million people) on welfare, in subsidized housing, food stamps, WIC, more teachers, covered by Medicaid and other payments. They will not be paying any taxes because of the EIC and Child Tax credits will reimburse them. The IRS does not follow up on this type of fraud? This is a cruel trick on every honest taxpayer is this first generation of newly legalized immigrants, could escalate with thousands bring in brothers, sisters, Mothers and Fathers. By the year 2040 the population of America could be unsustainable with limited resources, water shortages, highways crammed to capacity and a infrastructure that is falling apart.

    THOSE INTERESTED-THE HISTORY CHANNEL IS ONCE AGAIN TELEVISING “The Crumbling of America.” This Friday observe the depreciating bridges, dams, levees and 50 year old underground system of sewage in some areas. Our Survival is in peril, but they do not enforce immigration laws. In fact Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has cut the budget for the Border Patrol and other enforcement tools in the SAVE ACT and REAL ID Act. Yet the Congress keeps appropriating money to fight foreign wars or aid other countries. There is much more to learn-not- the propaganda given to us by the business world Learn so much more by surfing the Internet or go to NUMBERSUSA. Read about the corruption from both political parties at JUDICIAL WATCH. Don’t hesitate in calling your Senator or Representative at 202-224-3121 In addition Don’t forget to give your State assembly a piece of your mind.

    Not copyrighted. TELL THE PEOPLE YOU KNOW–NO AMNESTY! It will entice Millions more to come for free government entitlements.

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