The AFL-CIO begins a big push this week to build momentum for comprehensive changes to the nation’s immigration laws.

But it wasn’t long ago that organized labor viewed illegal workers in the U.S. as a threat — and fought against proposals that would lead to citizenship.

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, referenced the labor movement’s history with the immigration issue in a YouTube message to members late last year.

“I want to talk to you about a topic that hasn’t always been an easy one for our movement,” Trumka said, “but it’s one that’s key to restoring the middle class and growing the economic power of working people. That’s immigration.”

To say immigration hasn’t been an easy topic for labor is an understatement.

via How The Labor Movement Did A 180 On Immigration : NPR.