At TruthOut, Amy Dean  offers "Why Immigration Is a Top Priority for US Labor" . It's not clear whether Dean is intentionally trying to deceive or is just being deceptive because she's wearing the world's thickest and most naive rose-colored glasses. Whatever it is, she writes:
Immigrants' rights are workers' rights. These days, that idea is a principle held dear by the US labor movement. But that wasn't always the case.
As recently as the mid-1990s, many unions took protectionist stances against allowing new immigrants to come to this country. It was only after these unions saw the abuses that became prevalent under an employer-driven system for verifying immigration status that the labor movement embraced a new position. The movement recognized that for working people to thrive, all employees had to have full rights in the workplace.
In reality, union leaders support massive immigration and amnesty for the same reasons that the leaders of the Democratic Party do: they want more members. Union membership has been declining over the past several decades, and unions look to immigrants to fill in the gaps. A large share of the members of the Service Employees International Union are illegal aliens; if they were converted into voters that would give the SEIU a great deal more political power.
In order to gain all that additional power, union leaders are even willing to side with bosses against the interests of American workers. One would have to be completely delusional or intending to deceive in order to think like Amy Dean.
"It's bad for American workers for there to be 11 million-plus people out there working with no rights... [These immigrants] are subject to exploitation. They are subject, as a result of that, to accept lower wages. They are subject to working in dangerous conditions. That is bad for those immigrant workers, and it is bad for American workers as a whole... We cannot have a prosperous nation and recreate the middle class as long as there is an underclass of 11 million people who do not have rights. By fixing this and getting them all on the road to citizenship, we address a huge issue that is the cause of enormous exploitation - of wage theft and other massive violations of labor laws."
To do that, she's joining with the very companies that exploit illegal aliens, giving them everything they want. That doesn't make much sense, does it?
If amnesty passes, the same groups - whether far-left NGOs, unions, or businesses - that current support massive and illegal immigration aren't going to do 180s. They're going to keep on doing after reform what they did before. Growers and other groups are going to keep on pushing for lower wages through more immigration, whether legally or not. It's not like businesses are going to say, "hold on, the wages we're paying are low enough" now is it?
Instead of taking on those businesses and keeping their quest for low-wage labor in check, Durazo is joining with them and giving them a major victory. If Durazo wanted to hold chicken processors in check, a great way would be to deny their request for more labor in order to lower wages. Yet, she's going in the exact opposite direction: helping them obtain more labor in order to lower wages. Why? See above, and also this.
The push by unions for amnesty is about obtaining new members and more power, not about what's best for American workers.
Please write @amybdean with your thoughts.
 Per her bio: "Amy Dean is a Fellow of the Century Foundation and co-author, with David Reynolds, of "A New New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement" and is president and founder of ABD Ventures. She worked for nearly two decades in the labor movement and now works to develop new and innovative organizing strategies for social change organizations. You can follow Amy on Twitter at @amybdean, or she can be reached via amybdean . com."
 truth-out . org/
Mon, 03/04/2013 - 16:19 · Importance: 4