National labor unions are praising the president following Thursday’s announcement he will use his executive powers to give millions of illegal immigrants amnesty.
Following the president’s announcement Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, declared in a statement, “Today is an important step toward rational and humane enforcement of immigration law.”
“On behalf of America’s workers, we applaud the Administration’s willingness to act. We have been calling upon the White House to halt unnecessary deportations since Spring 2013,” Trumka continued.
“By extending relief and work authorization to an estimated 4 million people, the Obama Administration will help prevent unscrupulous employers from using unprotected workers to drive down wages and conditions for all workers in our country,” he added.
Mary Kay Henry, the president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), also praised the president following his executive action.
“For millions of immigrant families, President Obama’s administrative action is life-changing” Henry said in a statement. “With this action, the President has taken our country forward in addressing what needs to be fixed about our broken immigration system. Millions of parents and children who work hard and play by the rules can now live without fear of being separated from their loved ones.”
She continued, “This is an historic milestone moment that has been decades in the making, but our fight is not done. Only Congress can pass a long-term fix to our broken immigration system.”
“If Republican leaders choose politics over people by refusing to address our broken immigration system, we will hold them accountable in the streets and at the ballot box in 2016” Henry added.
The United Auto Workers (UAW) stated in a press release, “The members of the UAW commend President Obama for taking an important step to address our broken immigration system.”
The Communications Workers of America (CWA) also commended the president, stating that his executive actions will be “providing long overdue relief to millions of undocumented workers who are facing deportation and the breakup of their families.”
The day after the announcement, the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers released a report stating that the president’s executive order will expand the labor force, increase worker productivity and estimated average wages would rise over a 10 year period. However, many others refute these claims and say the president’s actions will lead to severe consequences.
Horace Cooper, an adjunct fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation, “This action will lead to a significant decline in wages.”
“The union exists because low-to-moderate skill workers need them” Cooper added. “The very workers who need unions will be undermined.”
Labor unions traditionally supported immigration controls as a way to protect their members’ wages.
“The union leadership has been out of touch with their members’ needs and wants,” Cooper told TheDCNF. “If you are a union member, you want a job. If you are a union leader, you don’t care about getting a job.”
Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions reinforced the same point in a statement: “President Obama’s immigration order would provide illegal immigrants with the exact benefits Congress has repeatedly rejected: Social Security numbers, photo IDs and work permits—which will allow them to now take jobs directly from struggling Americans in every occupation.”
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