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Policy: Labor

Immigration activist says 'we have gotten nothing'

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Beltway Confidential,Sean Higgins,Labor unions,Immigration,Labor,Analysis

Frustration is boiling over in the pro-immigration community, as evidenced by a conference call hosted Wednesday by the AFL-CIO, a prominent labor union.

Los Angeles union activist Maria Elena Durazo told reporters that the labor coalition was escalating its actions to get Congress to pass a bill because it had "gotten nothing — nothing" to show for its previous efforts.

The call was intended to announce the AFL-CIO's promise to redouble its efforts to pass a comprehensive reform bill.

As they have throughout the year, the labor officials sternly warned Republicans that they imperil their party's future by resisting the reforms.

But the call also served to highlight how little progress the supposedly broadly popular reform bill had made and how little time there was left in this congressional session to finish it.

"This should have been done months ago," AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said, but Congress "hasn't moved an inch." He solely blamed Republicans. "What else can they say besides 'no'? 'Hell no?'"

Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer for the Los Angeles County AFL-CIO, said the coalition had done "hundreds of hundreds of hundreds of thousands of actions" in congressional districts to try to win over individual lawmakers.

She then lamented: "We have gotten nothing — nothing. That is why we have to escalate to another level."

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Sean Higgins

Senior Writer
The Washington Examiner