Home > Hot Topics > Foreign Worker Timeout > Why Did The Unions Today Choose 7 Million Illegal Aliens Over 7 Million Unemployed Americans?

Why Did The Unions Today Choose 7 Million Illegal Aliens Over 7 Million Unemployed Americans?


WASHINGTON AND JEFFERSON COLLEGE, Pa. -- Just finished a 9-person immigration debate here after doing a live interview on the Glenn Beck Show from a studio in downtown Pittsburgh (if you wondered what the Iron City skyline was doing behind me during my appearance).

I'm on to Colorado tomorrow for a Thursday morning debate appearance at Denver University.

Started today on a CNN segment about the effect of illegal immigration on unemployment for less-educated American workers.

And throughout the day, did phone interviews with newspaper reporters through each airport as everybody is wondering . . .

. . .  why in the world would the nation's union leaders take a stand to keep 7 million unemployed Americans from getting a job.

Thanks to a new study out from the Pew Hispanic Center today, we now have a solid citation for there being more than 8 million illegal foreign workers currently holding U.S. jobs!

Using the largest estimate of illegal workers in agriculture jobs, that means more than 7 million illegal aliens are holding down jobs in the construction, manufacturing and service industries.

Those are the jobs being sought (yes, this is the same number) by more than 7 million unemployed American workers who have no more than a high school education.

Why would the unions turn their backs on unemployed American workers?

Because backing illegal foreign workers -- and foreign workers in general -- is where the money is.  Even for unions.

The Ford Foundation -- the prime backer of higher immigration, more foreign workers and rewards for illegal immigration for 40 years -- has announced that it is pouring $30 MILLION into immigration efforts the next 18 months.

And that is just one of dozens of foundations who are pulling out all the stops to pass an amnesty this year.

The announcement today by the national union leaders is part of this coordinated effort.

What is the business of unions?

Union dues.

The mission of American unions may have been to improve the working situation for American workers but the BUSINESS is union dues.

About the only kind of growth in the union business for a long time has been in unionizing foreign workers. The unions made especially strong in-roads among illegal workers.  Thanks to a loophole in the 1986 law that made it illegal to hire an illegal alien, it is perfectly legal for a union to provide membership to an illegal alien.  But the unions are hopeful that they will be able to get union dues out of a lot more of the 8 million illegal aliens if an amnesty can be secured for them.

If you are a member of a union (and I have been at points in my life), you need to raise a ruckus with your local leaders. They will be scared to death to report your concerns to the top, but you should insist on it.

To be fair to the national union leaders, there is some non-cynical rationale behind their switch from a century-long practice of protecting American workers from too much immigration. In 1986, the unions were promised that the feds would stop businesses from hiring illegal workers and, thus, depressing wages for all workers.  But the Bush and then the Clinton and then the Bush Administrations failed miserably to stop the hiring.  As the number of illegal workers grew into the millions, the unions leaders came to believe that the feds were never going to stop the flow.  Thus, if all those foreign workers were going to be occupying jobs, anyway, the union leaders figured they might as well be legal so they would do less harm to wages and working conditions.

I understand that, and I have some sympathy for it.

But the answer is for the unions to throw every bit of their influence behind passing a mandatory E-Verify bill which would begin to drive illegal foreign workers out of the labor market. Instead, the unions have been fighting E-Verify.

I have a feeling that the pro-amnesty position that began to be considered by the unions early this decade started out as a somewhat logical response to the lack of federal enforcement.

But this year's union opposition to E-Verify makes me believe that today's pro-amnesty announcement is a sign that the national labor movement has become hostile to American workers. It appears the national labor leaders are far more interested in helping for foreign workers than in helping American workers.

The legacy of Samuel Gompers was shattered today.

ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA's blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted.

Views and opinions expressed in blogs on this website are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect official policies of NumbersUSA.