Though not a living wage, Congress’ recent increase in the minimum wage to $7.25 is good news for us all. It is a step towards improved low-wage work opportunities in the US- but we still have a long way to go.
One of the steps towards improved worker rights in the US must be improved worker rights for immigrant workers. As long as work place standards are not enforced in industries employing immigrants, without a pathway to citizenship and portability for temporary visa workers, and worker protections for immigrants, how can we expect businesses to improve working conditions and rights for all US workers?
Workers int he US are closely knit together by profession and class. The raise in the minimum wage will cut across culture and neighborhood to touch all communities across the country.
This must be a reminder that we cannot accept guestworker programs in the US. Lower standards of work and integration for immigrant workers lowers standards and expectations for ALL US workers.