Editorial: Immigration and the Unions

The New York Times, 4/20/2009

The very idea that unions would endorse legalizing illegal immigrants, as the country’s two big labor federations did this month, strikes some as absurd. Americans have a hard enough time competing with cheap foreign labor. Why undercut them within our own borders? Especially with millions of citizens losing their jobs?

These questions deserve an answer since the bad economy will only strengthen the stiff winds of opposition that President Obama will have to fight if he is going to win the sweeping immigration overhaul he has promised. Legalization was already politically treacherous thanks to the tireless work of restrictionists who have spent years denouncing illegal immigrants as harmful to the country’s health. They have long compared the undocumented to invaders and parasites; it’s a very short distance from there to scabs.

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