Flashback: Obama Argued Illegal Immigration Threatens Wages of Blue-Collar Americans

Flashback: Obama Argued Illegal Immigration Threatens Wages of Blue-Collar Americans

President Obama is expected to issue an executive order to shield millions of illegal immigrants from deportation as soon as this week.

The move will frustrate and anger Republicans—some of whom argue that such an action would not only be an overreach of authority and undermine the law but would also harm American workers. 

Ironically, over half a decade ago President Obama was writing something similar, The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro highlighted over the weekend.   

A passage Munro found in Obama’s autobiography, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream, finds Obama making the case that illegal immigration suppresses wages. 

“[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border—a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before,” then-Senator Obama wrote in his 2006 autobiography, “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”

”Not all these fears are irrational,” he wrote.

“The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century,” Obama noted. “If this huge influx of mostly low-skill workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole—especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to an increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan—it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net.”

The Daily Caller reporter further pulled out quotes in which Obama sheds light on his own “patriotic resentment.”

“Native-born Americans suspect that it is they, and not the immigrant, who are being forced to adapt” to social changes caused by migration, he said.

“And if I’m honest with myself, I must admit that I’m not entirely immune to such nativist sentiments,” Obama wrote. “When I see Mexican flags waved at pro-immigration demonstrations, I sometimes feel a flush of patriotic resentment. When I’m forced to use a translator to communicate with the guy fixing my car, I feel a certain frustration.”

Munro found further passages in which Obama expressed discomfort with the idea of a guest worker program as being “essentially a sop to big business, a means for them to employ immigrants without granting them citizenship rights—indeed, a means for business to gain the benefits of outsourcing without having to locate their operations overseas.” 

The Daily Caller’s flashback comes as Obama is expected to announce executive actions on immigration as early as Friday that would provide legal status and work permits to as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. 


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