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Union Uses NAFTA To Fight Alabama Immigration Law

Union Uses NAFTA To Fight Alabama Immigration Law

States Nullification of NAFTA called for by state assemblies...

Tuesday, May 01, 2012 2:18

Union Uses NAFTA To Fight Alabama Immigration Law

Posted 04/30/2012 06:10 PM ET

Opponents of Alabama's immigration law rally in Montgomery, Ala., on Feb. 14, 2012. The Service Employees International Union and Mexican National... View Enlarged Image
Big Labor is going a long way to challenge Alabama's new anti-illegal immigration law — all the way to Mexico.

The Service Employees International Union and a group of Mexican lawyers filed an official complaint Monday with Mexico's Labor Department, alleging that Alabama law HB 56 violates labor protections — under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

The complaint is highly unusual. The international trade pact has never been thought to govern immigration policy inside states. Eliseo Medina, secretary-treasurer of SEIU, admitted to IBD that this was a completely unprecedented claim.

There is also the irony of a major union turning to NAFTA, which Big Labor bitterly fought against when it passed in 1992 and has criticized ever since, as a legal remedy in a political fight.

"What it gets to, I don't know," Medina told IBD regarding their novel trade complaint. "But I do think it needs to be looked at seriously ... We want this (Alabama) law thrown out."

Bryan Riley, a senior policy analyst specializing in trade at the conservative Heritage Foundation, called it a legal "Hail Mary."

"It is very far-fetched to me to use the NAFTA language to raise a question about the Alabama law, which doesn't seem to say anything about (immigrant) working conditions," Riley said.

The Alabama Attorney General's office did not respond to a request for comment at press time.

The SEIU's complaint argues that the Alabama law violates provisions under the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation, a supplemental agreement to NAFTA. It obligates the countries to ensure certain basic labor rights and says those rights must extend to migrant workers...
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It's a

commie cluster-fest!