Immigration & Labor: Setting the Record Straight
Kristen Gillibrand, New York’s new senator, has been praised by the labor sector for her strong support of a pro-labor agenda. Her views on immigration, however, led to harsh criticism from the immigrant community, elected officials, and immigrant advocates.
As the new senator continues to reconsider her stance on immigration, it is important to understand that unlike what immigration restrictionists argue, a pro-immigration and pro-labor agenda are not at odds. A strong immigration and labor agenda would strengthen workers rights and improve wages, benefits, and working conditions for all workers.
Gillibrand has recently stated that she now supports the DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and strongly opposes home raids—a good sign for some. But skepticism still remains, as Assemblyman Peralta says:
We are going to help her and pay close attention, and if she doesn’t change, well, then we’ll be speaking to other contenders in 2010.