April 10, 2006

Illegal Immigration And The Cheap Labor Lobby

Democrats must stand on the side of American workers in dealing with the issue of border security and immigration control. The reality is that illegal immigration hurts workers near the bottom of the wage scale - many of whom happen to be Hispanic or African-American. If the Democratic Party and organized labor will not take a stand on behalf of wage earners, who will? Too many Democratic leaders like Howard Dean have joined the cheap labor lobby along with big business Republicans like George W. Bush and John McCain. Of course, many misguided progressives, Cato Institute types and the big business sponsored media will attempt to portray critics of illegal immigration as xenophobic and racist. Unable to win on merits on the issue, the apologists for illegal immigration feel that they must resort to smear tactics. The lack of border security and immigration enforcement is a economic and national matter - not a racial or ethnic issue.

Reuben Navarrette pointed out in the San Diego Union-Tribune last year that the great Mexican-American labor leader Cesar Chavez (who founded the United Farm Workers) detested illegal immigration. Navarrette wrote:"Despite the fact that Chavez is these days revered among Mexican-American activists, the labor leader in his day was no more tolerant of illegal immigration than the Arizona Minutemen are now. Worried that the hiring of illegal immigrants drove down wages, Chavez – according to numerous historical accounts – instructed union members to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service to report the presence of illegal immigrants in the fields and demand that the agency deport them. UFW officials were even known to picket INS offices to demand a crackdown on illegal immigrants." http://tinyurl.com/qxku8

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