Barack Obama, President of the SEIU

Barack Obama is an effective president, unfortunately not of the United States but of the SEIU argues Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer:

Unions — particularly public-employee unions — support illegal immigration because it serves their interests to have a permanent class of people who are financially dependent on the government.

The sad secret about private-sector unions is that they are dying.  All they do now is drive up the cost of doing business, thereby preventing their own members from getting hired. Arizona is what we call a “right to work” state. As mandated by the Arizona Constitution, Arizonans are free to join a union or not — it’s their choice, not some union boss’s command. And interestingly enough, when employees are given the choice of whether or not to join a union, they increasingly say no. These workers understand that the rigid workplace rules and regulations that unions promote are bad for growth, bad for competitiveness, and bad for jobs.

More and more workers recognize this. That’s why in the private sector, where employees have a real stake in the success of the businesses they work for, only 7.5 percent of workers are unionized. By contrast, more than 36 percent of public-sector workers are unionized, and more than 42 percent of local-government workers. That’s because public-sector workers in the federal government don’t have to worry about unemployment. Ever. In many federal agencies, the primary threat to job security is actually death.

Democratic-party bosses love government workers because each of those workers must rely upon the health and growth of government to pay his salary and guarantee his benefits. If the government contracts or shuts down for any reason, those workers are out of a job. And public-sector unions love the Democratic bosses because they keep on growing government. The more people the Democrats can put on the payroll, the more voters they can lock up for their candidates.

That gives public-sector unions like the SEIU (which includes huge numbers of public employees) unbelievable leverage. Because the party bosses want to keep government workers employed and happy, they’ll give the unions just about anything they want. And the best part (for them) is that it doesn’t cost them a thing. The taxpayers pick up the tab. Liberal politicians spend taxpayer money to grow government; the unions keep voting for (and contributing to) Democrats, and the Democrats stay in office so they can spend more of the taxpayers’ money growing government. It’s a simple, corrupt, mutual back-scratching circle.

How does illegal immigration play into this? Most illegal aliens work hard. That is not in dispute. But the unfortunate fact is that most illegal aliens are also unskilled and uneducated.

Unskilled workers have higher unemployment rates and lower earnings. Many rely on government programs to help support them and their families. Much of this access to the welfare system by these households is gained through their American-born children, who are U.S. citizens. That means more government, which means more public-sector-union members.

Even if, in the short term, more illegal immigration means fewer union jobs, the unions are okay with that. It is a strategic cost they are willing to bear. Because they know that if the Democrats keep winning, they will give the unions subsidies, grow government, and employ more union members.

Some of the unions’, especially the SEIU’s, massive opposition to SB 1070 may have a more personal motivation. As we waited around for Janet Napolitano to resign and leave, she gave a parting gift to the public-employee unions. She issued her final executive order granting something called “meet and confer” status to many of the public-employee unions. That mandates that the union’s chosen representatives meet at least once a quarter with state agency heads. I repealed the executive order as soon as I became governor, citing its potential impact on trimming our bloated budget and its conflict with our state’s right-to-work guarantee.

Whatever their motivation, it is unforgivable for public-sector unions and the Democratic party to use illegal aliens as a way to ensure their power base. But use them they do.

And when it comes to immigration, President Obama has made no secret about where he gets his marching orders. As a candidate, Obama spoke to the SEIU and announced, “Your agenda has been my agenda in the United States Senate. Before debating health care, I talked to Andy Stern and SEIU members. Before immigration debates took place in Washington, I talked with Eliseo Medina and SEIU members.” This was a frank admission that the Obama administration would be run by the SEIU. It wasn’t a tacit deal. It was open and clear-cut. Support me and I’ll do your bidding in Washington.

That may be a win-win for the president and the unions, but it’s a big loser for the American taxpayers. It’s also dishonest. If President Obama and his allies really wanted to have an honest debate about illegal immigration, they would say openly that they believe our country’s future should be determined by an uncontrolled, illegal influx of immigrants.  America’s fate should be in the hands of Americans, not human smugglers and drug cartels.