Sen. Kennedy has done some great things in his career, but this Senate Immigration package is a cut and paste that is now so flawed that there is something in it for just about anyone to hate. American workers?especially American construction workers?deserve better than what is being proposed under the comprehensive immigration reform package currently being rammed through the US Senate.
In a rush to get something, anything, passed to say they did, our US Senator Kennedy has been a disappointment because he has cut deals first with Sen. McCain and (now that McCain has backed away from him) with Sen. Kyl that ultimately do not help or protect either American workers or the immigrants that will continue to be exploited as cheap labor.
Reading through the bill, it is clear that especially in the section that offers up the Guest Worker program, this package paves the road to disaster and does not help either American workers or immigrant workers:
* The temporary guest worker provision, as contained in the bill, does not offer sufficient wage floor protections?opening the door even wider for exploitation of undocumented workers in the American construction industry ? which leads to an accelerated erosion of wages and benefit standards for the construction industry….under this weak bill in some states DoL (Anti-)Labor Secretary Chavez and conservative state leaders would set the wage scales…we already know what big business thinks are “fair” wages for immigrant workers…expect more of the same…ironically the unions are the only ones calling for fair wages for immigrant workers now!
* The legislation DOES NOT do enough to secure our nation?s borders; nor does it contain an effective and reliable employment verification system.
* Under this bill, the penalties and sanctions levied against those employers that violate our nation?s immigration laws remain embarrassingly weak. Until they set the penalties so high and the enforcement so vigilant on these greedy employers, immigrants will be lured by them for the hope of a job…low pay or not…you can’t blame the immigrants for wanting to get a job…these employers are the root of the problem…time to enforce the laws we have to stop them.
Rather than passed a flawed bill, why not take three steps back and put something together that will work…for American workers that are being thrown under the train and for immigrant workers who will continue to be exploited with this bill…without prevailing wages and/or wage floors for workers, American or immigrant, this bill undercuts our own industry standards and will ultimately hurt the economy.