Immigration should not cut Americans’ wages, Donald Trump Jr. told a cheering crowd at the GOP convention.
Democrats “gave us the worst immigration system in the world — one that imports [social] immobility, one that drives down employment and wages — for Hispanic Americans, for African-Americans and for everyone,” he told the cheering crowd.
But with the election of Donald Trump, “we’re going to put Americans first — all Americans, not a special class of crony elites at the top of the heap,” he said.
“We are going to elect a president who will work with everybody to pass legislation that will make our country great yet again.. . a president who will give us an immigration law that protects American citizens and give them jobs,” he declared.
That rhetorical support for higher wages was also aimed at Democratic voters — including those who backed Sen. Bernie Sanders. “It was Bernie Sanders himself who warned that a large tide of new workers keeps wages low and poverty high,” Donald Trump Jr. said.
The rhetoric marks a fundamental change from leaders in the GOP’s established wing, who have long argued that immigration is good because it will grow the economy, help companies and provide more taxes for government. But they’ve long ignored the impact of cheap immigrant labor on voters’ wages and tax bills.
But Trump Jr.’s rhetorical support for an immigration policy that protects Americans’ wages is a long way from actual law — partly because the wealthier Americans, business groups and the establishments of both parties favor large-scale immigration of blue-collar and white-collar workers.
That’s especially true for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who favors an unlimited inflow of “any willing workers” to take jobs that pay too little to support Americans families. Similarly Jeb Bush sought to win the GOP nomination by announcing he would boost the economy with an inflow of foreign white-collar workers.
Unsurprisingly, the GOP establishment’s cheap-labor policy is unpopular with voters. For example, on Tuesday night, at the convention, Ryan was forced to declare Trump — and his immigration reform — the winner of the 2016 primary race.
President Barack Obama and his Democrats also talk about immigration boosting the economy, and also ignore the damaging impact of endless cheap labor on Americans’ wages, technology investment and average productivity and wealth. However, Obama and other progressives oppose curbs on the inflow of foreign migrants, because they do not believe national governments should favor their own peoples.