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AFT Resolutions

THE RIGHTS OF IMMIGRANT WORKERS

WHEREAS, the current immigration system is a blueprint for the exploitation of workers, both native and foreign born; and

WHEREAS, America deserves an immigration system that protects all workers—both native born and foreign; and

WHEREAS, America deserves an immigration system that guarantees the safety of our nation without compromising our fundamental civil rights and civil liberties; and

WHEREAS, the current immigration system has allowed employers to create an underclass of workers that effectively has reduced working standards for all workers; and

WHEREAS, immigrant workers are overrepresented in the highest-risk, lowest-paid jobs and often are working side by side with U.S.-born workers who are suffering the same exploitation; and

WHEREAS, proposals before Congress have encouraged employers to turn permanent well-paying jobs into temporary lower-paying jobs with few or no benefits; and

WHEREAS, the current immigration enforcement system targets workers instead of employers who exploit the workers; and

WHEREAS, nationwide demonstrations held on Monday, May 1, 2006, showed overwhelming opposition to the draconian House of Representatives’ bill and support for reasonable and humanitarian immigration policies; and

WHEREAS, the AFL-CIO has adopted a policy defending the rights of immigrant workers and calling for the responsible reform of immigration laws that must protect the working conditions for all workers in the U.S.:

RESOLVED, that the American Federation Teachers work with the AFL-CIO in its efforts to bring about immigration reform that is based upon the following standards:

  • the uniform enforcement of workplace standards must be a priority ensuring real and enforceable remedies for labor and employment law violations for all workers, regardless of their immigration status, and that there must be a mechanism whereby all workers can protect their rights; and
  • reforms must provide a reasonable path to permanent residency for the currently undocumented workers; and
  • reform must reverse the practice of allowing employers to turn permanent, full-time year-round jobs into temporary jobs through attempts to broaden the size and scope of so-called guest worker programs; and
  • all workers both foreign born and native must be guaranteed full workplace rights, including the right to organize and join unions; and
  • reform must ensure the safety of our nation without compromising our fundamental civil rights and civil liberties; and
  • reform of immigration laws must consider the root causes of migration that are pushing workers to migrate; and

RESOLVED, that the  AFT work with the AFL-CIO and the NEA, its affiliated unions and coalition partners representing the immigrant, ethnic, faith and civil rights communities to ensure that comprehensive legislation providing for legalization and the enforcement of workplace rights for all workers is introduced in Congress and signed into law.


(2006)