The PJ Tatler

Obama in 2006: Illegal Immigration Hurts American Blue Collar Workers

Ever since he won the presidency in 2008, Barack Obama has consistently conflated legal and illegal immigration and treated both as an unmitigated good for the economy.

But that was not always the case.

In one of his two autobiographies, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming the American Dream, the future president sounded a very different note.

The Daily Caller’s Neil Munro reports that then-Senator Obama wrote that “[T]here’s no denying that many blacks share the same anxieties as many whites about the wave of illegal immigration flooding our Southern border — a sense that what’s happening now is fundamentally different from what has gone on before.

“Not all these fears are irrational.

“The number of immigrants added to the labor force every year is of a magnitude not seen in this country for over a century. If this huge influx of mostly low-skilled workers provides some benefits to the economy as a whole — especially by keeping our workforce young, in contrast to increasingly geriatric Europe and Japan — it also threatens to depress further the wages of blue-collar Americans and put strains on an already overburdened safety net,” Sen. Obama wrote.

None of those arguments appear to be slowing President Obama now as he threatens to grant amnesty to an estimated 5 million illegal aliens via executive order. Such a move would be illegal, according to Obama himself.

Granting those illegal aliens legal status would allow them to openly seek jobs in an already stressed American economy, thereby directly competing with American citizens mostly at the lower skilled end of the job market — the workers Obama claimed to care about in his book. At the same time, Obama is vocally supporting a major increase in the minimum wage, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates could cost 500,000 jobs. Taken together, these two policies stand to squeeze some of America’s most vulnerable workers the hardest.

2006 vintage Obama would probably accuse the current incarnation of the president of illegally favoring foreign workers over American ones, to play on economic populism.