AFL-CIO president shuts down Fox host's attack on immigrant workers
Richard Trumka: Undocumented workers are "great when no one's around; when they try to organize and get a voice, then they start squeezing them, ... calling in ICE, and different things."
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the January 29 edition of Fox Business' Mornings with Maria Bartiromo:
Loading the player reg...
MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): You, as the leader that you are and representing so many workers across the country, have to be unnerved when you see open borders and illegals coming in and taking your jobs.
RICHARD TRUMKA (PRESIDENT, AFL-CIO): Look, that's just not how it works anymore. I mean, you have people that got laid off from the president's place that have been here 20 years, they're not taking anybody's job. What we want to do is make sure every worker in this country has the same rights so that they can't be exploited, because what happens right now with undocumented workers is, they're great when no one's around; when they try to organize and get a voice, then they start squeezing them, they start, you know, doing -- calling in ICE, and different things. The idea is, if everybody has the same rights, then they can't exploit those people and everybody can actually have a fair playing field. What happens to American worker -- employers right now is, you have an employer that hires people, makes them work in unfair conditions, misclassifies them, underpays them, and they're competing against our employer. That employer needs to pay everybody the same rate, live by the same working conditions so that we can all compete.
BARTIROMO: So, you're OK with illegals coming in and -- as long as everybody's treated the same?
TRUMKA: Well, Maria, that's a nice cliche, "illegals coming in." But, you know yourself that most people that are here undocumented or illegally came in legally.
BARTIROMO: You don't think there's a problem at the border at all?
TRUMKA: I didn't say that.
TRUMKA: There is a problem. We do need border security. And, no, I don't think that a wall's the answer to it. Every time someone's tried to build a wall, it's not been very successful.
TRUMKA: There are places probably where it works. Is that the answer to everything? No. Should that have been the reason for a shutdown? Absolutely not.