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Fighting for Workers?

by Jacquelyn Mahendra on 12/10/2009 at 5:02pm

Citing our latest report, SEIU’s Executive Vice President, Eliseo Medina, makes an incisive argument about the Anti-Immigrant Lobby’s hypocrisy on workers issues for the Huffington Post:

If there is one thing that the movement for comprehensive immigration reform can learn from the congressional fight for health care reform, it’s that Republicans will distort the facts and delay in order to block the change Americans need.

They’ll even resort to feigning support for policies and programs that they’ve historically opposed — like Medicare — and then reverse course and file amendments to privatize it.

Given this track record, it should come as no surprise then that members of the anti-immigrant (and anti-worker) Immigration Reform Caucus are now trying to co-opt a “pro-worker agenda” in a ruthless effort to push their extremist mass deportation agenda and block the smart, practical immigration reform American workers need.

Thanks to a new report released today from America’s Voice Education Fund, a closer look at the voting records of these Members show them to be some of the most consistent opponents of legislation that would benefit American workers.

Despite the hype, the op-eds, and the continued pandering to a small minority of anti-immigrant voters, these leaders have no interest in supporting working families; no interest in raising standards or wages for working people who struggle everyday to provide for their families. In fact, these so-called champions of the American worker have taken every opportunity to make life harder for working families.

As the report shows, SEIU gives 95 percent of these phony reformers an “F” grade for their anti-worker voting records. Of the 87 Members of the House of Representatives who received an “A” grade from the extremist anti-immigrant group Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in the 110th Congress:

· 94 percent voted against the Employee Free Choice Act
· 93% percent against Equal Pay for Women
· 83% percent against Extending Unemployment Compensation
· 68% percent against Increasing the Minimum Wage
· 82% percent against Providing Parental Leave for Federal Employees

From someone who has fought for workers’ rights–organizing workers from California to Texas to Florida and to New York–it’s shameful to watch these members wear such a false veil of reform–fanning the flames of hate and fear against immigrants while championing policies that are bad for workers at every level.

Check out Eliseo’s full piece here.

Cross-Posted at Daily Kos.

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