The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller
Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, speaks to the press after a meeting with other labor leaders in the West Wing of the White House February 5, 2013 in Washington,DC. Obama met with labor leaders to talk about immigration reform. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images) Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO President, speaks to the press after a meeting with other labor leaders in the West Wing of the White House February 5, 2013 in Washington,DC. Obama met with labor leaders to talk about immigration reform. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)  

AFL-CIO president: Citizenship for illegals will create American jobs

AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka says granting illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship will be good for American workers.

“It will help us create jobs,” Trumka told The Daily Caller in an interview Tuesday morning.

“Those workers [illegal immigrants] are already in the workforce,” Trumka said, “and they’re being used and abused to drive wages down for every worker out there.”

The AFL-CIO has emerged as a strong proponent of granting illegal immigrants U.S. citizenship.

He posited that once illegal immigrants are given citizenship status, corporations will no longer be able to use them to drive wages down. Higher wages will drive demand and investment, he said, which drives jobs.

Trumka also made a case for protectionist trade policies during a speech at the Center for American Progress Tuesday.

He said the United States needs to create trading rules that aim to raise wages and living standards around the globe, and strictly enforce them.

“Our trading partners must commit to these basic, minimum labor standards… We need to enforce them,” Trumka said. “Because no rule makes a difference if it can’t be enforced.”

Trumka complained that imports continue to outpace exports, that corporations are outsourcing labor, that America continues to loses factories, and that NAFTA was created with the goal of shipping jobs offshore to lower labor costs.