In a move sure to slow the seemingly inevitable approval of a guest worker program many see as an amnesty, AFL-CIO leaders rejected guest worker proposals now in Congress.
According to Reuters, leaders of the 54-union federation ditched the idea that a temporary guest worker program could be made acceptable:
"To embrace the expansion of temporary guest worker programs is to embrace the creation of an undemocratic, two-tiered society," AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Linda Chavez-Thompson told a news conference.
The AFL-CIO is expected to formally adopt its immigration policy on Wednesday.
The AFL-CIO continues to support the legalization of more than 11 million illegal aliens working in the country. But its new policy opposes existing guest worker programs, such as H1B visas for foreign professional workers or H2B visas for seasonal unskilled workers.
The federation's position supports "full rights" - permanent residency status, or "green cards," and the option of becoming citizens.
On Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will discuss Chairman Arlen Specter's comprehensive draft that will become the vehicle for Senate debate on immigration matters.
The Reuters article states "Specter's bill would allow illegal alien workers who entered the United States before January 4, 2004, to remain indefinitely, and allow an unlimited number of new guest workers to enter the country without a right to eventually become permanent residents or citizens."
The closer we get to November, the less likely it is that any meaningful immigration reform will pass this Congress.