Thursday, September 5, 2013
In an op/ed in USA Today, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) contends that comprehensive immigration reform is bad for American workers. The goal of protecting labor seems odd coming from Senator Sessions, who receives low marks from organized labor, including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, and the United Autoworkers, in voting in labor's interests.
Historically, Congress has passed tough immigration legislation, such as the infamous Chinese exlusion acts of yesteryear, in the name of protecting American workers. The results have been punitive immigration laws restricting immigration and few benefits for American workers. Currently, undocumented immigrants are all-too-often exploited by unscrupulous employers who pay law wages for labor in substandard conditions. A path to legalization for undocumented immigrants promises to place immigrant labor on a more level playing field with citizen workers. Such a result would benefit American workers who will not be subject to unfair competition in the labor market due to employer's ability to exploit undocumented labor.