Barack Obama and his union buddies have made it clear what they mean by “immigration reform.” That is, a clear path to citizenship for the 11 million people who are in this country illegally.
If they get their way, guess how many of those new citizens will become Democratic voters?
And guess how many will be targets for union membership?
So it should come as no surprise that when the President gave a major speech on immigration reform in Las Vegas earlier this year, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka was invited to sit in the front row. Afterward, Trumka said it was clear what the top priority of any such program must be: citizenship and all of its privileges for anyone who is in this country illegally.
For “privileges,” read “voting Democratic.” Oh, and “paying union dues.”
The Services Employees International Union says that it will spend millions of dollars to rally support for such legislation. Top officials of the SEIU have made it clear that passage of such a bill is their top priority this year.
No wonder. In recent years, Hispanics have comprised the fastest-growing segment of union membership. According to the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, their numbers jumped by 21 percent over the past decade and now make up one-quarter of SEIU membership. Meanwhile, over the same 10-year period, white union membership declined by 13 percent.
One of the biggest problems the unions are facing is that when workers aren’t forced to join a union, many won’t. For example, after Indiana passed a right-to-work law last year, union membership in the state declined by 18 percent.
No wonder the unions are licking their chops at the thought of organizing a substantial chunk of the 11 million immigrants who are in this country illegally. They will be satisfied with nothing less than a quick and easy path to citizenship. Hopefully, Republicans in Congress will stand fast and make sure they don’t get it.
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