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Commentary :: Labor
BTL:U.S. Labor Movement Opposes Bush Plan to Create...
17 Jan 2004
Modified: 04:12:44 AM
...Immigrant Guest Workers Program Interview with Anna Avendano, senior adviser on immigration issues for the AFL-CIO, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
U.S. Labor Movement Opposes Bush Plan to Create Immigrant Guest Workers Program

Interview with Anna Avendano, senior adviser on immigration issues for the AFL-CIO, conducted by Scott Harris

In his first major policy initiative of the new year, President Bush proposed an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws. The plan, announced Jan. 7, would allow some eight million undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S. to obtain legal status as temporary workers. The program, if passed by Congress, would offer legal status to employed immigrants for three years, with a one-time opportunity for renewal, but would offer no new avenues to those seeking U.S. citizenship. While President Bush emphasized the plan's capacity to improve security along the nation's borders, many observers accused the White House of proposing the program in the hopes of gaining crucial Hispanic votes in the upcoming presidential election.

The initiative drew both praise and criticism from the Latino community. But many conservatives and advocates of immigration reform were quick to criticize Bush's updated guest worker program. The National Council of La Raza, the nation's largest Latino civil rights organization said in a statement, "The Bush proposal is a bitter disappointment that will relegate immigrants to second-class status." John Sweeney, president of the AFL-CIO, warned that the Bush immigration plan would create a permanent legal underclass of low-paid workers.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Anna Avendano, senior adviser on immigration issues for the AFL-CIO, who explains why the labor movement opposes the president's immigration plan.

Contact the AFL-CIO by calling (202) 637-5000, or visit their Web site at Visit The National Council of La Raza's website at

Related links:

"Critics Assail Bush's Immigration Plan," by Martin C. Evans, Erin Texeira and Collin Nash, Newsday, Jan. 9, 2004

"President's Approach to Immigration Policy Filled with Sweeping Generalities," American Friends Service Committee, Jan. 9, 2004 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride campaign

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:

"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).

For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)

For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)

betweenthelines (at)

Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions

©2004 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright by the author. All rights reserved.
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