But some of us work with others who are opposed to immigrant rights and/or feel threatened by immigrants.
Let’s put aside principles and values for a minute and discuss why even racist and nativist workers should support immigrant rights.
Immigrants ain’t goin’ back. They ain’t goin’ back to where they came from. The business community loves immigrants. The Chamber of Commerce and their allies will not allow the mass deportation of immigrants–no matter what the various Tea Parties say. Immigrants are too vulnerable without rights. Business loves that. They are too easy to exploit. Interfaith Worker Justice, the Department of Labor, and worker centers are still filing claims against employers who steal wages.
So immigrants are staying.
Until they have the right to stay, they must be wary of organizing. And as long as they are vulnerable and exploited the employers create a downward drag on wages and benefits.
We must organize immigrants to lift the floor for all of us. That is the same reason we must fight to raise the minimum wage.
We have to reverse the downward pressure on labor markets here in America and across the world.
The truth is that US policy is doing the most to drive the global economic race to the bottom.
Reversing the race to the bottom is up to us. It starts with understanding that workers across the world affect wages and benefits everywhere.
That is the reason the Trans Pacific Partnership trade talks should be scrapped right now. Trade agreements must lift living standards for workers and environmental protections.
Workers must be organized and employers and buyers held accountable for wages and conditions of work.
As is beginning to happen, workers must cooperate across national boundaries to stop wage competition and worker exploitation–just as the United Auto Workers and IG Mettal are doing at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga.
Photo source: Dignidad Rebelde