I've often wondered how labor unions and union members feel about the issue of illegal immigration. Unions constantly badger non-union mega-employers such as Wal-Mart about how they don't pay a fair working wage (which I actually think is true). Unions are some of the largest, wealthiest and most influential political entities in our country and are adversely affected by illegal immigration every day. After all, every employer that hires an illegal alien for skilled manual labor is in effect reducing opportunities and wages for union workers. Construction, in particular, is turning more and more to illegal alien laborers and away from more costly union workers. This is why it puzzles me that unions seem to be quiet on this issue.
The title link is to a humaneventsonline.com story about how the Bush administration supposedly plans to put in a super highway to connect
Once complete, the new road will allow containers from the
Far Eastto enter the through the Mexican United States , bypassing the Longshoreman’s portof Lazaro Cardenas Unionin the process. The Mexican trucks, without the involvement of the Teamsters Union, will drive on what will be the nation’s most modern highway straight into the heart of . America...
A good reason Bush does not want to secure the border with
may be that the administration is trying to create express lanes for Mexican trucks to bring containers with cheap Mexico Far Eastgoods into the heart of the , all without the involvement of any U.S. union workers on the docks or in the trucks. U.S.
Since the unions have tremendous influence over national politics, and the Democratic party in particular, I would think that now is the time for them to clamor for pro-border security and anti-illegal immigration candidates and policies. The Bush administration has engendered a lot of outrage, and is at risk of a national anti-Republican backlash at the polls that could potentially cost them control of congress. In this climate, it should be pretty easy for a Democrat to get elected this November. If unions use their vast political influence, they could see to it that illegal immigration is greatly reduced. (Don’t get me wrong, as a neo-libertarian I’m no more in favor of Democrats than Republicans, but I like the idea of anyone who will actually do something to stem illegal immigration.)
Readers of my blog and web site know very well that I'm not a big fan of unions, but it just seems like the illegal alien issue would be the perfect rallying cry for them. Given our current political climate I would think their influence could be used to great affect for the benefit of all legal workers, and in particular, union workers.