At the screening for “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero”, Obama pushed amnesty for illegal aliens, claiming, “We’ve got to keep working to fix our broken immigration system.”
“one of us can claim to know exactly what Cesar would have said about this fight, or any other,” he added.
But actually in this case we can know.
Chávez was not a fan of expanding immigration. He believed that undocumented immigrants undercut the pay and negotiating power of unionized workers, and he protested farms’ use of migrant and undocumented workers as “strikebreakers.”
In some instances, he and the UFW even reported some undocumented immigrants to the Immigration and Naturalization Service for deportation.
In the 1970s, under Chávez, the UFW set up a “wet line” along the US-Mexico border to stop immigrants from entering the US illegally.
“Under the supervision of Chavez’s cousin, Manuel, UFW members tried at first to persuade Mexicans not to cross the border. One time when that didn’t work, they physically attacked and beat them up to scare them off, according to reports at the time.”
Chavez was right of course. Illegal immigration lowers pay for workers at the bottom of the ladder. It also makes unions unworkable. Chavez was representing the interests of workers. Now however the cheap labor lobby and the minority lobbies are united in supporting illegal immigration.
“As long as we have a poor country bordering California, it’s going to be very difficult to win strikes,” Chavez says in the interview. “All of a sudden yesterday morning, they brought in 220 wetbacks — these are the illegals — from Mexico.”
For all his faults, Chavez did at least try to represent the interests of workers. That’s more than can be said for the AFL-CIO, NAACP and other organizations that are undermining workers by backing Obama’s amnesty.