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Iowa labor group applauds President Obama’s immigration plan

DES MOINES – An Iowa labor group says that the President of the United States took a “long overdue and necessary step towards fixing our broken immigration system” last week when he announced plans to help up to 5 million people living in the U.S. illegally gain residency.

“We applaud his willingness to act to address this crisis, for the good of all workers. More elected leaders should step up and do their jobs,” said the Iowa Federation of Labor.

“Although this fix is temporary, it will allow millions of people to live and work without fear, and afford them the status to assert their rights on the job.”

The labor group said that in Iowa, there are 13,000 undocumented immigrants with a U.S. citizen child, and that if these immigrants are able to apply for deferred actions, it would lead to a $22 million increase in tax revenues for Iowa.

The Iowa Federation of Labor said it “is very concerned about immigration issues here and around the country. We are also concerned about the legal protections these workers are due.  It said that even with this executive action, millions will continue to work without legal protections and will remain vulnerable to wage theft, retaliation and other forms of exploitations.

Ken Sagar at Labor Temple in Mason City
Ken Sagar at Labor Temple in Mason City

“Even though this executive order did not specifically provide legal protection from wage theft and exploitation, the unions will continue to advocate for these vital protections. The labor movement will continue to stand with all workers, regardless of status, to ensure that their voices are heard and their rights are protected.” Said Ken Sagar, President of the Iowa Federation of Labor.

“We thank the President for this important first step to resolve this critical issue and urge Congress to stop playing politics and do the work necessary to take care of issues of importance to Americans.”

The Iowa Federation of Labor says it represents the interests of nearly a quarter of a million Iowans who make Iowa work.

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