Presentation on theme: "Why Mobilizing for Equality & Citizenship Benefits ALL Working Families."— Presentation transcript:
Why Mobilizing for Equality & Citizenship Benefits ALL Working Families
The System is Broken Everyone can agree that we don’t have a common- sense immigration process in place. Many have questions about what the solution is, or how it’d benefit America’s workers. Let’s explore some common myths about immigration and then talk about our campaign for reform.
Myth #1: “Immigration reform means more competition for fewer jobs”
Fact: Immigration reform would create LESS competition by raising working standards and protecting good jobs. The higher earning power of aspiring citizens in just the first 3 years after the passage immigration reform would generate enough consumer spending to support 750,000 to 900,000 jobs. Source: “Raising the Floor for American Workers.”
Myth #2 “Immigration reform will be costly – we just can’t afford it.”
Fact: The Congressional Budget Office estimates that immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship would generate an additional $1.5 trillion to the economy over 10 years.
Myth #3: “Immigration reform only benefits immigrants – it doesn’t affect me.”
Fact: Studies show that immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship can raise wages for immigrant workers by 6%. Raising wages for low-wage workers protects good jobs and raises working standards for EVERYONE. Immigrant rights ARE workers’ rights. Source: “Immigration for Shared Prosperity.”
Fact: “High Road” employers who obey the law and treat workers with respect will no longer be at a competitive disadvantage.
Myth #4: “Immigration reform isn’t a workers’ rights issue.”
Fact: Workers without a roadmap to citizenship frequently experience threats of deportation or physical violence, unsafe conditions and wage theft because they work in an underground economy without full rights and too often without a voice. Immigration reform would unite and strengthen worker power and help stop unscrupulous employers.
Myth #5: “Immigrants strain public services that are already stretched too thin.”
Fact: Added tax revenues from immigrants’ higher wages will help improve public services, including education. Even the libertarian CATO Institute argues that immigration reform with a roadmap to citizenship would yield at least $1.5 trillion in added GDP over 10 years as a result of increased consumption, job creation and additional tax revenue. The labor of out-of-status workers already adds billions to our economy, but that money doesn’t always trickle down to public services because of misclassification and wage theft. Immigration reform would fix that. Source: Immigration Policy Center, Time.com
Myth #6: “Immigrants come here to use our welfare and they don’t pay taxes.”
Fact: Immigrant families come here because they love this country and want to contribute to our economy. In most states, welfare options are closed to undocumented immigrants. In 2006, the IRS Commission told Congress that many undocumented immigrants file federal taxes – paying almost $50 billion at tax time between 1996 and 2003. Undocumented immigrants paid MORE in taxes than General Electric in 2010, paying $11.2 billion in state and local taxes. Source: Immigration Policy Center, Time.com
Myth #7: “Immigrants of today are different than ones from generations past.”
Fact: “Until 1918, the United States did not require passports; the term [undocumented immigrant] had no meaning. New arrivals were required only to prove their identity and find a relative or friend who could vouch for them.” Source: Washington Post
Fact: Washington Post: “Most of the concerns voiced today -- that too many immigrants seek economic advantage and fail to understand democracy, that they refuse to learn English, overcrowd homes and overwhelm public services - - were heard a century ago.”
Fact: Throughout America’s history, people around the world have moved here to work hard in order to make life better for the next generation. We need a process that reflects our roots and our values and rewards people who work hard and make a contribution to our communities.
Myth #8: “Immigrants can just get in line to become citizens. They should wait in line like everyone else.”
Fact: For many immigrants, there is no line to get into in order to become a fully- participating citizen. It’s easy to become “out of status” – it’s often unintentional. Natives of over 20 countries aren’t even eligible to apply for diversity visas. Deporting all 11.5 million undocumented aspiring citizens living here would take 30 years and cost millions of dollars.
Myth #9: “Guestworker programs are a good solution to help us meet labor market needs and legalize undocumented immigrants.”
Fact Guestworker programs are more like indentured servitude. These temporary visas tie immigrant workers to their employer – meaning that if a worker raises concerns about working conditions or tries to form a union, s/he risks being not just fired, but deported. The programs are not based on real data – no commission exists to independently assess labor market needs.
1.Independent commission to assess labor market shortages 2.Effective work authorization mechanism 3.Rational, humane control of the border 4.Fair adjustment of status through a roadmap to citizenship 5.Improvement, not expansion, of temporary worker programs like the H1-B and H2-B programs
Everyone Benefits Raises standards & protects good jobs Enriched civic community Boosts economy & creates jobs The right thing to do
More than three in five union members are in favor of a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that includes a roadmap to citizenship and emphasizes workers’ rights.
AP Poll: According to a new Associated Press poll, more than 60% of Americans favor allowing undocumented immigrants to eventually become U.S. citizens.
Our Campaign for Citizenship Talking with union members across the country Launching a multi-city tour to build support for immigration reform Opportunity to broaden and build labor movement Take the next step: Check out www.aflcio.org/immigration to learn more Visit www.workingfamiliestoolkit.com and present a workshop