Calif. unions target Republicans on immigration reform

In Bakersfield, Calif., on Wednesday, thousands rallied outside the office of Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., in support of a comprehensive immigration policy that includes a road map to citizenship. Republican leaders say they will not bring up the bill that was passed by the Senate, but instead will focus on several smaller immigration bills. María Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, says there will be consequences if House Republicans block the Senate bill.

“There is no higher priority for labor,” says Durazo. The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor will spend millions of campaign dollars and will activate Latino voter outreach programs to challenge politicians who work against immigration overhaul. “It will catch up to them,” she says.

The Los Angeles County Federation sent 200 carloads of working families and their allies to the Bakersfield rally, which is one of more than 150 planned across the state. The federation also is buying more than $1 million in advertisements in the districts of 40 House Republicans.

In nearby Nevada, working families rallied outside the office of GOP Rep. Joe Heck, asking him to support the Senate bill. Groups participating in the rally included the Nevada State AFL-CIO, Culinary Workers Union Local 226, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, ProgressNow Nevada, Mi Familia Vota and others. There also will be a series of prayer vigils held outside his office this week and later in the month.

In Yakima, Wash., working families and AFSCME members urged Rep. Doc Hastings, R, to pass commonsense reform that benefits all workers. See a video here.

This article originally appeared in the AFL-CIO Now blog.

Photo: The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO




Kenneth Quinnell
Kenneth Quinnell

Kenneth Quinnell is Senior Writer at AFL-CIO