President Donald Trump’s campaign used the issue of illegal immigration on Thursday to seek votes from working-class blacks.
A short video released by the Trump campaign Twitter account highlighted the president’s record on improving public housing in New York and other cities.
“My name is Judy Smith,” said one black woman, who continued:
I live in New York City public housing. I’m grateful for the spotlight that President Trump is putting on New York City public housing. I think it’s wrong that the Democrats put illegal immigrants before black Americans. How is it that we have people waiting on the waiting lists for New York City public housing for 10 years or more, but yet we have illegal immigrants living here? Something is wrong with that picture.
— Team Trump (Text VOTE to 88022) (@TeamTrump) August 28, 2020
The comments were likely aimed at working-class blacks in many swing states, including several Midwest states.
“Working-class African Americans are significantly more supportive of policies that seek to: decrease the number of immigrants coming to the United States, increase the federal role in verifying the employment status of immigrants, and attempts to amend the Constitution’s citizenship provisions,” said a 2013 peer-reviewed study by Tatishe Nteta, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The study continued:
For African Americans who lost a job to an immigrant, working-class membership resulted in a 13 percentage point increase in the probability of support for an increased federal role in workplace oversight [against employment of illegal immigrants] when compared to middle-class African Americans who experienced a similar loss.
Nationwide, the expanded supply of new migrants also cuts Americans’ disposable wages by inflating their housing costs. That reality is recognized by investor groups who are urging more immigration. For example, the Economic Innovation Group says, “The relationship between population growth and housing demand is clear. More people means more demand for housing, and fewer people means less demand.”
The research shows that an increase in the absolute number of immigrants in a particular county from 2000–2010 results in corresponding economic gains—increased demand for locally produced goods and services, a corresponding inflow of U.S.-born individuals—that are reflected in the housing market.
The video also included comments from other blacks in New York:
My name is Manuel Martinez … Under the Trump administration, New York City Housing Authority has received an influx of cash that it has not seen since 1997.
My name is Claudia Perez I’m the resident council president of Washington Houses, which is in Spanish Harlem. [New York Mayor] Bill de Blasio and the way he has dealt with public housing residents is disgraceful. President Trump administration has opened their ears and has listened … [and] is bringing real solutions to real problems.
The video ends with the claim, “More Funding: Better Housing: Promise Made: Promise Kept.”
Donald Trump's labor & immigration promises for a 2nd term are vague but useful.
They are also better for ordinary Americans than Joe Biden's business-backed, open-ended inflow of wage-cutting & rent-raising blue-collar workers & college-graduates. https://t.co/OmE4tRPf4T
— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) August 26, 2020