AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka issued a statement Saturday touting the proposed new visa program that emerged from a pact between big business and labor on a new immigration bill.
The labor movement has no higher priority in 2013 than to build a workable immigration system that will allow 11 million aspiring Americans to become citizens. Each day we have become more encouraged that our goal is in reach, and quickly. Each day we hear from working people of every background that we need a fair system that lifts up everyone.
The strength of the consensus across America for just reform has afforded us the momentum needed to forge an agreement in principle to develop a new type of employer visa system. We have created a new model, a modern visa system that includes both a bureau to collect and analyze labor market data, as well as significant worker protections. We expect that this new program, which benefits not just business, but everyone, will promote long overdue reforms by raising the bar for existing programs.
But a new visa program is only a small part of our campaign to build a common sense immigration system. Mass deportations are a moral and economic crisis. The senseless thwarting of DREAMers' efforts to live the American dream is a crisis. And we are leading a national campaign for reform that addresses these crises.
From making sure citizenship for the 11 million is achievable not only in theory, but in fact, to maintaining family unity, the labor movement’s immigration campaign is just getting started.