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Labor’s immigration reform kickoff Feb. 18 in Seattle

Every day, more than 12 million immigrant aspiring citizens contribute to our communities, our economy, and our country — yet are denied a voice in the workplace and essential rights in our society. Since the 2012 election, President Obama and Congress have created some momentum for immigration reform, but labor and its community allies will have to mobilize to make them pass comprehensive immigration reform.

immigration-reform-kickoffCome join the M.L. King County Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, our affiliates and our community partners Casa Latina and One America and stand up for comprehensive immigration reform! It will be Monday, Feb. 18 (President’s Day) from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Hall 1 of the at the Seattle Labor Temple, 2800 1st Ave. (Download the event flierSpanish version.)

This will be a festive and free event with great music, food, and immigrant worker stories. It’s time
for common sense immigration reform. For more information, call the WSLC at 206-281-8901 or the MLKCLC at 206-441-8510.

BACKGROUND –Seattle is one of 14 cities across the country where the AFL-CIO is launching the campaign for common-sense comprehensive immigration reform with a road map to citizenship. This is essential to all of America’s workers, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in a telephone press conference Thursday, as he and Maria Elena Durazo, chair of the AFL-CIO’s Immigration Committee, announced the campaign.

“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.”

In 2009, the AFL-CIO, Change to Win, the Economic Policy Institute and other unions and immigrant rights groups and faith leaders worked with former Secretary of Labor Ray Marshall to release Immigration for Shared Prosperity: A Framework for Comprehensive Reform, which outlines the labor movement’s policy proposals. This framework consists of five closely related components, which have united many interests on the issues:

1. A humane, practical path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants;

2. A data-based approach to future flow, including the creation of an independent, professional commission to measure labor shortages and recommend the numbers of employment-based temporary and permanent immigrants to fill those shortages;

3. Rational operational control of the border;

4. A fair and efficient worker authorization system and effective labor law enforcement; and

5. The improvement, not expansion, of temporary worker programs.

For more information, see the Labor Movement’s Principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform at the AFL-CIO website.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!