"We're here today because we believe in a nation that values people's work, their communities and their families," Trumka said. "We believe that in order to create shared prosperity and a voice for all, we must address our immigration process. This is a top priority for America's unions because a roadmap to citizenship for those who are American in every way except on paper is critical for all working people. Workers without the protections of citizenship are subject to enormous abuse by employers. That's why the labor movement has been working with day laborers and domestic workers for years. We understand that solidarity means standing together with predominantly immigrant workforces to improve wages and workplace safety."
Trumka and Durazo said the AFL-CIO will deploy the labor movement's political and grassroots infrastructure and the same system that has been used to elect and re-elect Barack Obama to engage working families nationwide to pass immigration reform.
"Remember how labor helped pass health care reform? How we helped elect and re-elect President Obama? That's how we will help pass sensible, humane immigration reform with citizenship for the 11 million," said Durazo.
The Labor Movement's blueprint for immigration reform consists of five major interconnected pieces:
1. An independent commission to assess and manage future flows, based on labor market shortages that are determined on the basis of actual need;
2. A secure and effective worker authorization mechanism;
3. Rational operational control of the border;
4. Adjustment of status for current undocumented population; and
5. Improvement, not expansion of temporary worker programs, limited to temporary seasonal not permanent jobs.
Launch Campaign Events scheduled for the following cities:
• Seattle, WA – 2/18
• Portland, OR – 2/19
• Anaheim, CA – 2/20
• San Francisco, CA – 2/25
• Miami, FL – 2/28
• Houston, TX – 2/28
• St. Paul, MN – 3/6, 3/12 or 3/13
• Phoenix, AZ – 3/11
No date set yet but there will be events: Chicago & New York City
For the latest updates, follow @AFLCIO and @RichardTrumka on Twitter.