Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Immigration Accord by Labor Boosts Obama Effort

by Julia Preston and Steven Greenhouse, New York Times
April 13, 2009

The nation’s two major labor federations have agreed for the first time to join forces to support an overhaul of the immigration system, leaders of both organizations said on Monday. The accord could give President Obama significant support among unions as he revisits the stormy issue in the midst of the recession.

John Sweeney, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., and Joe T. Hansen, a leader of the rival Change to Win federation, will present the outlines of their new position on Tuesday in Washington. In 2007, when Congress last considered comprehensive immigration legislation, the two groups could not agree on a common approach. That legislation failed.

The accord endorses legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already in the United States and opposes any large new program for employers to bring in temporary immigrant workers, officials of both federations said.

“The labor movement will work together to make sure that the White House as well as Congress understand that we speak about immigration reform with one voice,” Mr. Sweeney said in a statement to The New York Times. [...]

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