TPM.com has an interesting article up about the gradual shift of the AFL-CIO and other heavy hitters in the organized labor from viewing illegal immigrants as scab labor to potential recruits for the movement and how that happened. How anti-immigration did Big Labor used to be? Well, United Farm Workers President Cesar Chavez fought to keep immigrants out, as TPM’s Benjy Sarlin noted:
As part of his efforts to pry concessions from the agricultural industry, Chavez took a hardline position against illegal immigration, which he viewed as an endless source of scab labor. At one point, the UFW deployed members to form a “wet line” along border crossings in order to harass incoming workers. Lou Dobbs, who covered Chavez as a young journalist, would later cite the campaign as a key experience in crafting his populist, anti-immigration worldview.