Home > Hot Topics > Foreign Worker Timeout > Democratic Convention extolled illegal aliens but avoided any pledges to maintain or increase immigrant worker numbers

Democratic Convention extolled illegal aliens but avoided any pledges to maintain or increase immigrant worker numbers


On the one hand, Americans watching the Democratic convention this week heard illegal immigration portrayed rather routinely as just another demographic group deserving -- in Rep. Luis Guitierrez' words at the podium -- "the expanding embrace of our democracy and humanity." And in the stock every-four-year media story about the first this and first that kind of person addressing one of the conventions, the "first illegal alien speaker" story was a very bad sign about the national leadership of one of our country's two major parties.

On the other hand, speakers tended to restrict their immigration promises to the 2-3 million younger illegal aliens rather than all officially estimated 11 million. And there was hardly a whisper about any need for more immigrant workers, or even a defense of the million a year we are already taking.

That was pretty good news, indicating that Americans' views against high immigration are getting through to the politicians. I think national Democratic leaders believe most U.S. voters would oppose the idea of favoring immigrant workers (particularly illegal ones) over unemployed Americans. The Democrats were restrained for similar reasons that national Republican leaders were at their convention. That is, with 20 million Americans unable to find a full-time job, extolling filling jobs with foreign workers is not smart politics.


However, I am convinced that the national leadership of both parties actually DOES prefer filling jobs with foreign workers over unemployed Americans. Because of that, neither convention addressed the question of the ads we ran during both conventions -- and during political debates for nearly a year now. That question is: How can the government justify issuing 1 million new immigrant work visas a year while so many Americans are unemployed?

TV ad 

In the Democratic keynote address, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro showed typical cluelessness in both parties about the fact that immigration engorges the labor force and worsens the odds of unemployed Americans being able to find a job. He said, "Because he knows that we don't have an ounce of talent to waste, the president took action to lift the shadow of deportation from a generation of young, law-abiding immigrants called 'dreamers.'

If Mr. Castro is worried about wasting an OUNCE of talent, surely he can focus a little more on the TONS of talent wasted in the 29% of American high school grads under 30 who can't find a full-time job, or the 53% of recent college grads who have no degree job or no job at all?


In that long acceptance speech last night, Pres. Obama made no promises about immigration in the next four years. Instead, he buried a reference to his administrative two-year amnesty for young illegal aliens in a litany of accomplishments that "you" the voters for change helped happen over the last four years:

"You're the reason a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she's ever called home.

"But we don't think that the government is the source of all our problems, any more than are welfare recipients, or corporations, or unions, or immigrants, or gays, or any other group we're told to blame for our troubles."

-- Barack Obama, Charlotte, 2012

That's a far cry from his State of the Union speeches that have called for increases in immigration because American college graduates are not capable of meeting the needs of our economy.

But it also is a step back from his 2008 acceptance speech in which he apparently felt he needed to assure Americans that he knew there is a reason for immigration laws and that reason is connected to jobs.

"You know, passions may fly on immigration, but I don't know anyone who benefits when a mother is separated from her infant child or an employer undercuts American wages by hiring illegal workers."

-- Barack Obama, Denver, 2008

I'm not sure how much weight to put on the fact that Mr. Obama and his consultants felt the concern for the role of illegal immigration hurting American wages needed to be stated in 2008 but not be stated in 2012.

ROY BECK is the CEO & Founder of NumbersUSA

NumbersUSA's blogs are copyrighted and may be republished or reposted only if they are copied in their entirety, including this paragraph, and provide proper credit to NumbersUSA. NumbersUSA bears no responsibility for where our blogs may be republished or reposted.

Views and opinions expressed in blogs on this website are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect official policies of NumbersUSA.