On Monday, a resolution to honor the late labor leader Cesar Chavez failed to get through the Senate because Democrats did not want to acknowledge that Chavez was against illegal immigration and supported stricter border security.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), a Gang of Eight member who co-authored the Senate’s immigration bill, wanted unanimous consent to honor the life and achievements of Chavez on his birthday.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) objected on behalf of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), who wanted to include an amendment to proclaim that the late labor leader favored “strongly enforcing immigration laws, thereby reducing the deleterious effects of inexpensive labor on the wages of the farm workers of the United States.” The amendment would have also stated that Chavez recognized the importance of a secure southern border with Mexico and encouraged the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) to contact the Immigration and Naturalization Service to report illegal immigrants.
Sessions, who has been a champion for American workers against illegal immigration and even the influx of legal foreign workers, told Menendez that Chavez knew that illegal immigration hurt American workers. He added that the Senate’s immigration bill, had it passed Congress, would have been “adverse to farm workers who are working hard, need pay raises and need better job opportunities.”
Menendez noted that the UFW was one of the “strongest voices” for amnesty today. Indeed, the UFW has invoked the legacy of Cesar Chavez to falsely claim that Chavez would say, “Si se puede” to amnesty and has joined with groups like Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s FWD.us to push for comprehensive immigration reform.
Chavez’s words and actions, though, prove that he would not have supported such legislation. Even the producers of the new Cesar Chavez movie, a group known for promoting liberal social causes, did not politicize it by infusing amnesty because it would have gone against the facts.