Immigrant workers in the United States know what it’s like to be unfairly pitted against workers. At FIRM, we believe supporting the rights of immigrants and the rights of all workers is the same struggle.
In fact, studies show that immigration reform would raise the floor for all workers. And conversely, supporting the rights of workers helps all of us, including immigrants. This is why immigrant communities are rallying in solidarity with Wisconsin workers.
This week, the state’s senate Republicans caught most of the world off guard by staging a late night meeting where they passed Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal that strips nearly all bargaining rights from public workers. The measure was passed despite the absence of all senate Democrats by removing all fiscal aspects of the bill, which in turn nullified the need for a quorum.
Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, told the Washington Post:
“The vote does nothing to create jobs, does nothing to strengthen our state, and shows finally and utterly that this was never about anything but raw political power,” . “We now put our total focus on recalling the eligible Republicans who voted for this bill. And we also begin counting the days remaining before Scott Walker is himself eligible for recall.”
Questions abound about the legitimacy of the move, but most interesting to me is this opinion from Milwaukee City Attorney Grant Langley who claims it is not constitutional. The legality may be uncertain, but what is clear is that this bill is wrong for Wisconsin. It’s wrong for workers. It’s wrong for everyone.
The bill now goes to the Republican-controlled House and then to the governor’s desk for signing. Walker, of course, is anxiously awaiting it.
The actions of Republicans in Wisconsin are in line with what seems to be the strategy of Republicans everywhere: divide our communities, do nothing to actually create jobs, destroy the unions who built America’s middle class, cut a thousand holes in the social programs safety net, cut funding that helps women and children, and give all breaks to the very wealthy.
The good news out of Wisconsin, news every Republican thinking of emulating Wisconsin should consider, is this: the push to recall the Republican state senators is gaining momentum. It is awesome and inspiring to see the people rising up and pushing back. This is what democracy looks like!
Meanwhile, if this story has your blood boiling, there is a simple way to get involved. Call Republican Gov. Scott Walker at 866-956-1737 and tell him NOT to sign this bill.