Presentation

Report
Answering Tough Questions
AFSCME Convention
July 15, 2014
Presenters:
Fran Bernstein, FGA
[email protected]
Sookyung Oh, RCBS
[email protected]
Where Are Your Ancestors From?
Agenda
 Parallels with the Past: Immigrants and the Labor
Movement
 Immigrants’ Impact on Elections
 Public’s Views on Immigration Reform
 Immigration Reform: Answers to Tough Questions
 Latest from Congress, Obama Administration and
States
 Resources
 Take Action!
Parallels with the Past
Immigrant Population: Then and Now
Foreign-Born as a % of US Population
16
14
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
1900
1910
1920
1930
1940
1950
1960
1970
1980
1990
2000
2011
Immigrants: Work & Labor
Chinese railroad workers
Protest signs in English,
Yiddish, and Italian
German immigrant
newspaper in Chicago
Where Immigrants Live
The Question of Race
Learning English
Growing Political Voice
2012 elections
 75% of Latinos, 73% of Asian Americans, and 90% of
African Americans voted for Obama
Large Majority Support
for Citizenship
Recent polls show that a
large majority of
Americans support
immigration reform that
would give legal status to
undocumented
immigrants. This poll,
conducted by the Pew
Research Center, shows
that 73 percent of those
surveyed felt that
undocumented
immigrants should be
given some path to legal
status.
Should have a path to citizenship
Undocumented immigrants
should have some way to
stay in the U.S. legally
73%
Should have a path to
permanent residency only
Don’t know which path 4%
Should not be allowed to stay
legally
Don’t know 4%
Source: Pew Research Center, via National Journal
Support on both sides of the aisle
Why do
immigrants come
here illegally?
No common-sense
immigration process exists
Economic push and pull
Violence in home country
Family reunification
Shouldn’t
undocumented
immigrants get in
line like everyone
else?
Often no line to get into
If you are lucky enough to
be able to get in line – the
process takes decades.
Don’t immigrants
take American
jobs?
Economy relies on immigrant
labor
Immigration reform will
create hundreds of
thousands of new jobs
Fact:
The Congressional Budget
Office estimates that
immigration reform with a
roadmap to citizenship
would generate an additional
$1.5 trillion to the economy
over 10 years.
Don’t
undocumented
immigrants
drive down
wages?
They are underpaid because of
their undocumented status
Solution is to provide legal status
with full rights and protections on
the job
Immigration reform with a
roadmap to citizenship can raise
wages for immigrant workers by
6%.
How is
immigration
reform a
workers’ rights
issue?
Workers living in the
shadows frequently
experience threats of
deportation or violence,
unsafe conditions and wage
theft.
Employers have an incentive
to hire out-of-status workers
because they can pay them
less and fire and/or threaten
them with deportation if
they try to unionize.
Don’t undocumented immigrants use public services while not
paying taxes?
 According to the IRS, undocumented immigrants paid almost $50
billion in taxes between 1996 and 2003.
 Undocumented immigrants paid MORE in taxes than General Electric
in 2010, contributing $11.2 billion in state and local taxes alone.
 Even so, federal law has closed almost all options for government
assistance for out-of-status immigrants.
On the Right Side of
History
“All labor has dignity.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Grassroots Partners
 AFL-CIO and other labor
 Faith community
 Immigrant advocacy organizations
 Business groups
 Civil rights organizations
President Obama’s Actions
 Prosecutorial
discretion
 Deferred Action
for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA)
Lots of action in the states
 In-State Tuition – 17 states and 3 university systems
 Access to Driver’s Licenses – 12 states
 Lawsuits to block anti-immigrant laws
Congressional Inaction
 Senate passed a bipartisan bill June 27, 2013
 House leadership has blocked any floor votes
 Even DREAMers left with nothing
What Will Obama Do?
 Looking to executive action by President Obama
 DHS will issue new, more “humane” deportation
policies in August
 Imperfect solution
How does
immigration reform
strengthen
AFSCME’s Four
Pillars?
Undocumented immigrants
will not fear joining the
union whether a current fee
payer or in a newly-organized
workplace
A path to citizenship will
grow pro-working families
electorate
We’re building important
allies through this fight
Immigration Resources: Labor
 Online Resources
 http://www.afscme.org/issues/immigration
 www.afscme.org/en-espanol
 www.aflcio.org/immigration
 www.aflcio.org/ImmigrationUniversity
 www.workingfamiliestoolkit.com
Immigration Resources: Allies
 Alliance for Citizenship – www.allianceforcitizenship.org
 Asian American Justice Center – www.advancingequality.org
 Immigration Policy Center – www.immigrationpolicy.org
 National Council of La Raza – www.nclr.org
 National Employment Law Project (NELP) – www.nelp.org
 National Immigration Forum – www.immigrationforum.org
 National Immigration Law Center (NILC) – www.nilc.org
 United We Dream – www.unitedwedream.org
Take Action Today!

similar documents