As unprecedented numbers of illegal aliens overwhelm the southern border, the United States faces the worst illegal immigration crisis in its history. But for one infamously progressive labor union, out-of-control illegal immigration isn’t an urgent national crisis to be solved, but a political opportunity to be exploited.

A recent email obtained by the Freedom Foundation details a plot by the Service Employees International Union to take advantage of years of chaos at the southern border under President Joe Biden to mint millions of new Democrat voters going into the 2024 election and beyond.

The SEIU email, dated March 19, explains that there are “9 million lawful permanent residents … eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship” and another “5.2 million newly naturalized U.S. citizens with the potential to vote for worker power.”

To encourage these green card holders to “take the brave step and become citizens,” SEIU announced in the email that it would work to naturalize immigrants ahead of the Nov. 5 presidential election through the union’s annual Virtual U.S. Citizenship Workshop

Of course, there’s nothing inherently wrong with granting asylum to persons fleeing genuine persecution in their home country, or with allowing these lawful permanent residents eventually to become U.S. citizens or registering them to vote.

The problem is that the Biden administration has defined the legal grounds for asylum so broadly as to dissolve any practical limits, granting asylum claims based on hardship of nearly any kind, up to and including the effects of climate change.

Although the nation’s immigration system has been broken for decades, the Biden administration’s commitment to loosening asylum standards certainly contributed to the present crisis by encouraging a record number of illegal border crossers to lodge claims for asylum, creating a backlog of over 3.5 million pending immigration court cases.

As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services works through the backlog, the Left’s political infrastructure, including unions such as SEIU, works feverishly to convert these border crossers-turned-asylees into citizens-turned-voters, for example, by offering “free one-on-one assistance with the U.S. citizenship application and fee waiver” to lawful permanent residents. 

And make no mistake, the Service Employees International Union expects a political return on its investment. According to its March email, the union hopes that, in exchange for its generosity, migrants will use voting as a tool to stop “extremist politicians” from “pushing racist laws or attacking workers’ rights.”

If SEIU can convert millions of immigrants into left-wing activists, the union “can push worker power from ALL angles that impact our lives.”

Indeed, SEIU credits its newest Democrat recruits for already doing the union’s political bidding by passing controversial legislation in swing states. According to the union, new “pro-worker voters” in Michigan were responsible for flipping control of the state to Democrats, who subsequently rammed through a repeal of the state’s popular right-to-work law.

Right-to-work legislation, which protects employees from being fired for refusing to join or pay dues to a union, is supported by nearly 90% of Americans, according to recent polls. But, to unions such as SEIU, the repeal of such worker protections in Michigan was something to be “celebrated.” 

Troublingly, SEIU’s political ambitions reach far beyond state policy. The union hopes to influence the “pivotal 2024 elections” by mobilizing its new Democrat voters, advancing progressive priorities for a whole range of hot-button issues in the process.

To SEIU, the harm caused to Americans by the border crisis is a small price to pay for keeping its allies in power. The union knows that so long as Biden’s open border policies hold, a steady stream of potential recruits will continue to enter the country.

As Eliseo Medina, a former vice president of SEIU, explained: “[I]f we have 8 million new voters … we will create a governing coalition for the long term, not just for an election cycle.” 

If excessive partisan spending wasn’t enough to convince SEIU members of the union’s unsatiable thirst for political influence, capitalizing on an unprecedented border crisis to advance partisan politics often divorced from workplace issues should be a wake-up call to reevaluate their membership.

As for the 80% of Americans who believe that the situation at the U.S.-Mexico border is “either a crisis (45%) or a major problem (32%),” SEIU couldn’t care less.

So long as political gain is on the table, the Service Employees International Union will continue working to perpetuate and exploit an immigration disaster that will have profound impact on American life for years to come.

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