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Democrats Could Learn From Truman’s Commission On Foreign-Worker Programs

Article author: 
Dale L. Wilcox
Article publisher: 
Daily Caller
Article date: 
June 14, 2017
Article category: 
National News
Medium
Article Body: 

This past week back in 1950, President Harry Truman formed the Commission on Migratory Labor to investigate the effects of illegal and legal unskilled immigration on US seasonal farm-worker wages. It would be the first official review of this part of the labor market since the government began experimenting with the so-called ‘Bracero’ foreign-worker program following its entry into World War II. Considering the recent flurry of legislative activity aimed at ramping up the unskilled foreign labor supply, the Commission’s reports are required reading.

On top of pushes to increase both the H-2A and H-2B unskilled foreign-contractor programs, there’s also the legislative campaign to amnesty-in millions of illegal alien farm-workers, an effort spearheaded by the relentlessly anti-borders congressman Luis Gutierrez. Just as notable as his bill is how he’s selling it to the American people: by blaming them...

Blaming the American people for their dispossession is a psychological tactic immigration-control advocates know all too well. Almost daily we hear from our post-national elite in the media and elsewhere that “Immigrants are doing jobs Americans won’t do” (a line which always seems to leave out the key qualifier “…for the substandard wages employers are willing to pay.”).

But as reports from the Commission show, denigrating the American worker was just as big a PR-tactic back then as it is now. While Big Agribusiness, one report reads, “scour[s]…adjoining nations for more and more labor”, they “discredit” domestic workers as “incompetent, irresponsible, and shiftless” and “heap imprecations on the man or agency which will point to unemployed farm workers in their midst.” These employers, the Commission stated, “have exploited the idea in order to obtain either imported or illegal Mexicans” and have “convinced many white workers and some of the American public that their contention is true” even in “such areas local workers have been without employment.”

On the supposed “shortage” of willing US workers, the AFL-CIO says in Commission testimony, there would be none “[i]f the agricultural worker were paid even the accepted common labor wages.” Theirs and others testimony along with the Commission’s three years of research led them to conclude, “alien labor has depressed farm wages and, therefore, has been detrimental to domestic labor.”

Most striking is the Commission’s statement on employers’ overarching motivation behind foreign labor programs. They simply “do not wish to work with free labor”, they state; instead preferring to install “a feudal type of rural economy and the relationship of the overlord to a subservient class.”...

Forcing the American worker to accept their own displacement isn’t easy. It takes millions in public-relations dollars from the cheap labor lobby to “convince” the broader public that the American underclass deserves to be crowded out by foreign labor...

Sadly, nearly 70 years on since the Commission was established and we’re still waiting for an America-first solution: to end all foreign unskilled worker programs; to let the domestic labor market function freely; and to give the American people the dignity they deserve.

 

The final report's online here (from pages 6054 and 6246 of the PDF). Page 1 of the report starts on page 6065...