Labor Supports Immigration Reform

The push for Immigration Reform took a major step last week as two leading labor organizations, the AFL-CIO and Change to Win, agreed to unite to support a major overhaul of the United States’ immigration system.

The agreement calls for the legalization of the status of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. but opposes any large new program that allows employers to legally admit temporary immigrant workers.

The agreement is a major step since in 2007, the last time Congress considered comprehensive immigration reforms, the two groups could not agree and so the legislation failed.

Although many fear that American workers will lose jobs to immigrants who may accept lower wages, as the current system stands, American workers may be taking a worse hit. Since the system is more unregulated than it should be, immigrant workers may be taking American jobs at wages below the Federal or State minimum wage. Immigration reform can help solve this by ensuring that wages remain at the minimum and by legalizing illegal immigrants already in the United States.

Immigration reform is long overdue in the United States and could help aid the current state of the ailing economy. Many critics fear that reform will turn into amnesty for those who have illegally entered the country but illegal aliens would most likely have to pay a fine for their previous illegal entry and with 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. a mass deportation would be nearly impossible and would most likely spark problems that have already come to light given the border crises with Mexican drug cartels and the problems Mexico currently faces. These problems would only escalate the situation for America and its southern neighbor.

The fact that labor and President Barack Obama last week have agreed to make a push soon for immigration reform shows that both agree that reform will help the economy and American workers if it is done right. Moreover, it shows that reform is essential to confronting to ailing economy.

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