We have a moral imperative to make sure that all workers – no matter what their immigration status is – can work out of the shadows, with all of the basic rights unions have fought so long and hard for, and share in the wealth they help create with their hard work. Today’s broken immigration system hurts all workers. As long as unscrupulous employers are able to exploit undocumented workers, the current two-tiered workforce will continue to drive down wages for all workers. Real protections for workers who face discrimination and prioritizing crackdowns on employers who break labor laws will make it harder for these bad employers to take advantage of their workers.
- Questions and Answers about Commonsense Immigration Reform (Available in English, Spanish, Albanian and Polish)
THERE IS BROAD PUBLIC AND POLITICAL SUPPORT FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
The 2012 election was a game-changer. With immigration a defining, mobilizing issue, the election produced a mandate for immigration reform. President Obama has made reform a top priority, and Republicans are speaking up for broad policy change.
Voters agree that our values as a nation require Congress to create an immigration system that serves our economy and that guarantees workers and immigrants their civil rights, human rights and civil liberties. Most Americans reject mass deportations and support a path to citizenship by a 2-1 margin.
IMMIGRATION REFORM WILL BUILD THE ECONOMY AND CREATE JOBS
Immigrants create new jobs by forming new businesses, buying homes, spending their incomes on American goods and services, paying taxes and raising the productivity of U.S. businesses.
Commonsense immigration reform would help create nearly a million jobs. One of the occupations that will see the largest growth in the next seven years is cleaning/janitorial services.
Undocumented workers contribute between $7-8 billion in social security funds annually–that’s $100 billion in the past 15 years. Legalizing immigrants will contribute significantly to the social security system since immigrants tend to be younger.
Study after study shows that undocumented immigrants contribute more to the economy than they take. Undocumented immigrants are not eligible for most public services like food stamps, Medicare and Medicaid, and documented immigrants are far less likely to use benefits than non-immigrants.
CONCERNS OVER PUBLIC SAFETY AND ENFORCEMENT ARE MISGUIDED AND MISLEADING
The border is more secure than ever before and we are throwing away billions of taxpayer dollars on border and workplace enforcement policies that have failed again and again.
While spending on immigration enforcement has skyrocketed, the number of undocumented immigrants in the United States has roughly tripled from 3.5 million in 1990 to 12 million in 2008.
Trying to eliminate the undocumented workforce through “enforcement-only” policies would only force more workers into the underground economy and decrease tax revenue.