Today the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) hosted a live webcast interview with Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka. During the webcast, both parties made the case for the necessity of comprehensive immigration reform, decrying individual state movements such as the controversial immigration law in Arizona as a means for racial profiling and shifting blame for economic failures onto undocumented workers.
Trumka outlined the AFL-CIO’s proposed five-point approach, which he noted is the first position to receive unanimous support from every member union of the AFL-CIO. The five points are (1) a mechanism to let current undocumented workers gain legal status, (2) an independent commission to monitor labor shortages, preventing immigration from being a way to drive down wages for the rest of the American people, (3) reasonable border enforcement, (4) strict employer compliance, which includes issuance of some form of tamperproof identification, and (5) putting an eventual end to guest-worker programs.
Secretary Solis also voiced support for identifying the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently in the United States and allowing them to become naturalized upon fulfillment of certain requirements (such as payment of back taxes and having no record of criminal activity). She further highlighted the importance of removing the “magnet” that draws undocumented workers into the United States by requiring strict employer compliance with existing immigration laws and controls.
Learn more about how immigration laws affect employers in Mastering HR: Immigration