Happy Border Control Day Cesar Chavez!

Article subtitle: 
Cesar Chavez was a fierce opponent of illegal immigration
Article author: 
Mark Krikorian
Article publisher: 
National Review Online
Article date: 
31 March 2014
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Today is Cesar Chavez’s birthday, celebrated as a state holiday in California, and an optional holiday in a few other states. Chavez has been held up as a symbol of race pride and open borders. A hagiographic film has just been released, and President Obama used the occasion of a screening at the White House to push “immigration reform.”

What neither the film nor the president mentioned was that Chavez, founder of the United Farm Workers union, was a fierce opponent of illegal immigration and supporter of tight border controls...

Chavez’s core insight was based on the law of supply and demand — farm work would remain low-paid, exploitative work so long as an unlimited supply of stoop labor could just come across the border and undercut his efforts at increasing pay and benefits...

...workers in lots of industries have been treated like crap, which is why unions sprung up in the first place. And economic growth and development have improved conditions immensely.

But not for farmworkers. Farm work has long been treated differently; much of the New Deal, for instance, didn’t apply to agricultural laborers. Later, based on fears of an agricultural-labor shortage during World War II (there actually was no shortage), big farmers got the federal government to initiate schemes to import captive labor from Mexico and the Caribbean, eliminating any chance for American farmworkers to better their lot...

It’s no coincidence that Chavez enjoyed his first success only after the end of the Bracero Program...

In 1969 Chavez testified before Congress:

A year ago we assigned many of our organizers to do nothing but to check on the law violators coming from Mexico to break our strikes. We gave the Immigration and Naturalization Services and the Border Patrol stacks and stacks of information. They did not pull workers out of struck fields. . . . This is why we are forced to boycott: We have had no enforcement by the Border Patrol.

...Chavez’s commitment to border control was not a passing phase — it was at the center of his labor activism...

...Chavez’s birthday should be recognized each year as National Border Control Day. Happy birthday, Cesar Chavez!


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