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AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka: Voters Will Punish GOP "For Decades" If They Don't Pass Immigration Reform

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At a pre-Labor Day breakfast this week with The Christian Science Monitor, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka strongly warned the House GOP of the dire price of not passing immigration reform, saying that voters will punish the GOP for “decades.”

Promising to bring a world of political hurt on opponents of immigration reform, Trumka warned House Republicans that how they act on immigration could have drastic consequences for them and their Party’s electability.  As Trumka said:

Look, if this doesn’t have a pathway to citizenship, they are going to pay a political price that is going to pay dividends to workers for decades. The only thing standing between immigration reform and reality is John Boehner and the House Republicans. And if they continue to stand in that way, they will pay a major, major political price.

Trumka–who earlier this year made headlines when he forged a rare labor-business alliance with the US Chamber of Commerce and its President, Tom Donahue, on shared principles for immigration reform–also spoke about why we need to pass immigration reform, saying that immigrants and workers alike benefit when participants in a workforce are legalized:

I think when 11 million people come out of the shadows, they will have more rights and we will all benefit.  The way things work now, they get stiffed on their pay, and they have no way to enforce their rights.

Trumka also emphasized that “the system is broken.”  But by stalling action on immigration reform, House Republicans are doing “everything they can so that it isn’t fixed.”