WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Two U.S. labor leaders said they reached an agreement on immigration reform that partly matches U.S. President Barack Obama's approach.
President of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations John Sweeney and Joe Hansen, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, agreed illegal immigrants already in the United States should be granted legal status, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
The unions, while opposing large expansions of temporary work programs, agreed to endorse a commission that would decide each year how many immigrant workers would be allowed into the United States.
Obama has said he favors legalizing about 12 million illegal immigrants.
The business community is in favor of expanding temporary worker programs.
"If unions think they're going to push a bill through without the support of the business community, they're crazy," Vice President of Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Randel Johnson said.
Legalizing illegal immigrants may also run into a wall opposition in Congress with elected officials protecting jobs among their constituents.
"In our current economic crisis, Americans cannot afford to lose more jobs to illegal workers," U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, told the Times.