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Workers' rights and migrants

June 06, 2007

Re "Migrant activists rally at Capitol," June 3

The Times mischaracterized the AFL-CIO's position on immigration reform. For years, the AFL-CIO has advocated an end to the exploitation of immigrant workers and a path to citizenship for those working hard and contributing to our economy.

When standards are driven down for immigrant workers, they are driven down for all workers. For this reason, we have opposed guest worker programs. Because workers in these programs are always dependent on their host employers for both their livelihoods and legal status, these programs create a disenfranchised underclass of workers.

Instead, we should revise the current permanent employment visa category so that we may welcome workers not as disposable "guests" but as permanents residents with full labor rights.

We will continue to work with our allies to pursue a plan that places workers' rights at the forefront of reform.


Associate General Counsel

and Immigrant Worker

Program Director, AFL-CIO


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