The AFL-CIO and Change to Win labor federations have agreed to jointly support a specified set of comprehensive immigration reform measures. The accord endorses legalizing the status of undocumented individuals already in the United States and improving current temporary worker programs, but opposes any new guestworker programs. Under the reform measures, the immigration of workers would be managed via a national commission, which would set the permanent and temporary numbers of foreign nationals to be admitted each year based on labor market demands.
The accord includes five features:
- Creation of an independent commission to assess and manage the flow of foreign national workers based on labor market shortages.
- A secure and effective worker authorization mechanism.
- Rational operational control of U.S. borders.
- Adjustment of status for the current undocumented population.
- Improvement, not expansion, of temporary and/or seasonal (not permanent) worker programs.
The new accord did not sit well with many in the business community who favor a guestworker program. Others objected to the idea of legalizing undocumented workers, stating “In our current economic crisis, Americans cannot afford to lose more jobs to illegal workers.”
An article released by the AFL-CIO in April 2009 summarizing the new accord is available here.