In a wide-ranging interview with the online publication, Vox, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton discussed immigration policy. In the interview, Clinton acknowledges the legitimate concerns of many Americans that their jobs and wages are at risk from illegal immigration and guest worker programs, although she suggests that these concerns are often overblown. (Both the full 40 minute interview and the five-minute segment dealing with immigration are embedded in the Vox story.)
Clinton seems somewhat sympathetic to skilled U.S. workers who have been displaced by employers who bring in H-1B workers to do their jobs. “The many stories of people training their replacements from some foreign country are heartbreaking, and it is obviously a cost-cutting measure to be able to pay people less than you would pay an American worker,” Clinton said. She specifically mentioned the case of Disney workers who were forced to replace their H-1B replacements. (The plight of the displaced Disney workers has been brought to light by FAIR and the Immigration Reform Law Institute.)
Though she devotes less time discussing the impact on lower skilled American workers, Clinton does acknowledge a hypothetical roofer who is handed his final paycheck and told his services are no longer necessary because a lower wage illegal alien worker is available.
Throughout the discussion about immigration there are moments when the old Hillary – the one who, in 2003, told a New York radio host that she was “adamantly against illegal immigrants” – appears to surface. But, of course, this is 2016 not 2003, and Clinton believes that pandering to the illegal alien lobby will win her votes in November.
Speaking on Thursday to the annual meeting of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Clinton reaffirmed her pledge to take executive action to shield illegal aliens (like those who might have displaced her hypothetical roofer), despite the Supreme Court decision upholding an injunction blocking President Obama’s executive amnesty programs. In the address, she also expressed her support for a sweeping amnesty, and suggested that calls for immigration enforcement and reductions are motivated by animosity toward Latinos. “We have got to say with one voice that Latinos are vital part of the American community,” Clinton said.
Latinos are a vital part of the American community; illegal aliens are not. Americans who work for a living, whether it is repairing roofs or designing software, are also a vital part of the American community, which is really what the immigration debate should be about.