The labor, immigrant and civil rights community is united in the struggle for immigration reform. Immigrant rights are civil rights; immigrant rights are workers' rights. Our common goal is comprehensive immigration reform.

Our broken immigration system has created a two-tiered labor market in which employers are able to force millions of undocumented workers to labor in substandard conditions, to the detriment of all workers. A real fix to this broken system must address the real roots of the crisis, and protect all workers, in a humane and just manner. Unfortunately, the compromise deal that was announced last week, and which was introduced in the Senate yesterday, does not satisfy those principles.

The framework of the Senate compromise represents a radical departure from long-standing US immigration policy, which has always favored the reunification of families, and has protected workers by limiting the size and the scope of guestworker programs, and restricting their applicability to seasonal or temporary work needs. By contrast, the Senate compromise includes a massive guestworker program that would allow employers to import hundreds of thousands temporary workers every year to perform permanent jobs throughout the economy.

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The Leadership Conference for Civil Rights (LCCR), the nation's premier civil rights coalition, has developed a set of fundamental principles for worker protections in temporary worker programs. Those principles highlight the substantial problems that exist with current temporary worker programs, where workers are exploited, and employers profit substantially from that exploitation and are able to drive down wages and workplace standards. The Senate compromise doesn't include any of the fundamental protections outlined in the LCCR statement of principles. Instead, it massively expands the model of the failed H2-B program.

Finally, the supposed "path to legalization" in the Senate compromise will exclude millions of workers and thus ensure that America will have two classes of workers, only one of which can exercise workplace rights. As long as this two-tiered system exists, all workers will suffer because employers will have available a ready pool of labor that they can exploit to drive down wages, benefits, health and safety protections and other workplace standards.

This is hardly the kind of immigration reform that will improve the plight of either US or foreign workers or their families.

We will continue to work with our allies in Congress and with the civil rights and immigrant communities to achieve fair and humane immigration reform.