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    "The fight is never about grapes or lettuce. It is always about people."
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    :: Wednesday, February 20, 2008 ::

    Latino helps others build union power - By Sanjay Bhatt, Seattle Times
    Over the past couple of decades, the construction industry has become dependent on a steady influx of Latino immigrants, many of whom are here illegally.

    In 1990, about one in 10 construction workers in the U.S. was Hispanic. By 2005, the rate was nearly one in four; and in 2006, it was two in three, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a Washington, D.C., nonpartisan think tank.

    Nationally, the carpenters union was one of the first to open up to the growing Latino work force, despite political fallout from traditional union members who opposed helping illegal immigrants.

    'The membership has been divided over the issue,' Franklin said. 'We do not make citizenship a requirement for membership.'
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