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For Immediate Release

Thursday, June 27, 2013

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders on Senate Passage of Immigration Reform

Washington, DC — 

AFSCME Pres. Lee Saunders issued the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act”:

“The legislation passed by the Senate today is a giant step forward toward fixing the United States’ severely broken immigration system. This historic legislation creates a practical process that upholds and reflects America’s fundamental values.

“Eleven million aspiring U.S. citizens live and work in the shadows of our society. They are exploited by unscrupulous employers and denied the right to a voice on the job. They work in an underground economy that harms everyone by driving wages down for all workers. It makes it harder for reputable employers to compete. The families of these workers live in a constant state of uncertainty and fear. That is not right. It is not the American way.

“The bill passed today will provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrants, provide new worker protections, boost the nation’s overall economic health and strengthen our borders.

“It is inspiring to see the Senate come together in a bipartisan way for these aspiring citizens. They are our neighbors. AFSCME members work with them and their family members every day – in schools, in hospitals and around our communities. With our voices, a new generation of American workers will enter the mainstream of American life. With a renewed sense of hope, AFSCME will remain on the frontlines of the fight for comprehensive immigration reform until a common-sense immigration bill becomes law.”