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July 1st, 2010
03:15 PM ET

Undocumented workers need legal rights

Richard L. Trumka
Special to CNN
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/OPINION/07/01/trumka.immigration/tzleft.trumka.richard.courtesy.jpg caption="Richard L. Trumka: Too many employers like using hard workers who have no rights" width=300 height=169]

By now it should be clear that we need a new national economic strategy for a global economy - and we cannot talk about one without facing head-on our own contradictions, hypocrisy and history on immigration.

The truth is that in a global economy in the 21st century, we simply cannot afford to have millions of hard-working people without legal protections, shut off from economic gain. But the way we treat the immigrants among us is about more than economic strategy: It is about who we are as a nation.

Look around most of our communities and you'll see what's been built by Hungarians and Poles, Irish and Italians, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Serbs and Croats, Jews and others.

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Filed under: Immigration
soundoff (One Response)
  1. Julie

    Your "path to citizenship" doesn't consider this: if we let all the people who have come to this country illegally have citizenship, we cheat all those who abide by the laws out of their opportunity for citizenship. We can only let so many in. Right now, those who "run for the border" get precedence over the best and the brightest from all corners of the earth.

    Real immigration reform would consider "what can the prospective applicant bring to US"? I'm in favor of an immigration policy that allows law-abiding, educated (preferably college-educated), entrepreneurial immigrants. I live in southern California and the illegal workforce is not only taking jobs from citizens, but also downgrading the prevailing wage because when an employer figures out that an illegal will work for $3/hour, they take advantage of this by lowering everyone's wage.

    July 1, 2010 at 9:48 pm |

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