But Trumka was emphatic that, if a “direct” path to citizenship is not included, the AFL-CIO would withdraw from a broad coalition that helped the White House shepherd a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws through the Senate last year.
“It means they would never get citizenship, never get a green card,” Trumka said during an hour-long interview in his office overlooking the White House. “It’s a joke. It’s a hoax, is what it is. It’s like fool’s gold.”
Trumka’s concerns underscore the challenge for Obama and congressional Democrats as they begin to assess the merits of a House Republican proposal. While Boehner navigates his own treacherous terrain to put forward a plan that could win enough support from House conservatives, Democrats could face an uprising from the left if they make concessions on their long-stated demand that any bill include a “special path” to citizenship for the undocumented population.