Up until this year of 2018, the left demanded blanket amnesty for young illegal aliens known as Dreamers as they clamor for open borders. Along the way, American voters elected a president who pledges to construct a border wall across the expanse of the Mexico-US frontier to counter the flow of illegal aliens, contraband, drugs, and terrorists.
The state of California has gone so far as to outlaw the enforcement of federal immigration law and now our president threatens to withdraw all federal efforts in that state to expel criminal immigrants.
A historical perspective on immigration of Mexican people is helpful to the discussion before us today, in 2018.
From 1941 to 1945, the U.S. government enlisted 6,332,000 volunteers and drafted 11,535,000 more for a grand total of 17,867,000 persons, mostly men, who served throughout the years of World War II. The entire U.S. population in 1941 was merely 133,400,000. Almost 14% of the American population served in military services.
Up until 1941, manufacturing, construction, and agricultural workers were predominantly men. Who would replace the men to work in armament factories and other industries that provided logistical support to our armed forces?
WW2 spawned the advent of Rosie the Riveter! My Aunt Myrtle Walden was one of the women who answered the call to ‘man’ the war machine factories and became a highly skilled welder.
It’s appropriate to note the WW2 U.S. casualties: 405,399 deaths, 670,846 wounded – a grand total of 1,076,245 – roughly 8% of our entire population.
Rosie the Riveter answered the help-wanted ads to ‘man’ the factories. Farmers needed workers to feed the American war machine. On August 4, 1942, the governments of Mexico and the U.S. signed the Mexican Farm Labor Program Agreement. that brought approximately 4,800,000 Mexican people known as braceros to the United States. This program was ended in 1964, the same year the Civil Rights Act was enacted.
To military strategists, it is axiomatic that an army marches on its stomach.
The dire need for agricultural workers in our country was and is a reality. The H-2A agricultural visa program is the vehicle by which American farmers now recruit temporary agricultural workers from south of the border.
My personal work history covers a range from corporate account executive to farm worker. That farm worker experience pretty much ranks as the most difficult and most unpleasant of my experiences.
Moving forward, extremely low wages, workplace danger, and employer abuses gave rise to the United Farm Workers union founded by a Mexican-American born in the USA. Cesar Chavez founded the UFW in 1962. Learn more about Cesar from the United Farm Workers website: The Story of Cesar Chavez.
Fast forward to 2018, Democrats and Hispanic activists call for open borders and voting rights for non-citizens. Why is the name of Cesar Chavez conspicuously absent from the ongoing discussions around DACA and the border wall?
But during those 15 years, Chavez fought illegal immigration tenaciously. In 1969, he marched to the Mexican border to protest farmers’ use of illegal aliens as strikebreakers. He was joined by Reverend Ralph Abernathy and Senator Walter Mondale.
In the mid-1970s, he conducted the “Illegals Campaign” to identify and report illegal workers, “an effort he deemed second in importance only to the boycott” (of produce from non-unionized farms), according to Pawel. She quotes a memo from Chavez that said, “If we can get the illegals out of California, we will win the strike overnight.”
Cesar’s highest formal education was the eighth grade. In today’s education parlance, he would be known as a home-school graduate who studied philosophy, economics, and the biographies of famous leaders. His opposition to unbridled illegal immigration in order to protect migrant farm workers in the fields of California, Texas, and elsewhere was based on the fundamental economics of supply and demand.
President Trump would be in good company with Cesar Chavez if Cesar were alive today.
The fundamental issue isn’t ‘racism’. It’s economics. As the line in the musical Cabaret says, money makes the world go round. Finance is the most fundamental element of any human activity. The Egyptians financed the Exodus of the Jews. It was the Lend-Lease Act that financed the victory of the allies over the axis powers in WW2. Mr. Chavez understood the economics of prosperity.
The keyword absent from discussions around immigration is others. Consider 1 Corinthians 10:24. The NLT says: “Don’t be concerned for your own good but for the good of others.” The KJV says it this way: “Let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth.”
Cesar Chavez was successful in his quest to better the lives of Mexican-American farmworkers because his labors were intended to benefit others.
Radicals who demand open borders and an end to the expulsion of illegal aliens that commit violent crimes in our country ignore Cesar Chavez while Anglos remain largely ignorant of him.
Knowledge is power. Make learning history a high priority.