Democratic Party Set to Pursue Mutually Exclusive Policy Priorities in 2014: Reducing Income Inequality and Maximizing Immigration

occupy-photoThe Christian Science Monitor reports that entering an election year, the Democratic Party will seek to change the political conversation away from Obamacare and other issues that don’t seem to be working for them right now. Instead, they will try to shift it to a discussion about growing income inequality. There is growing concern across the country that the gap between the wealthy and everyone else is growing, and that we are in danger of losing our middle class.

Then there’s the Democrats’ other big issue for 2014 – enactment of an illegal alien amnesty and massive increases in new immigration. The problem the Democratic Party will have to address (or should be forced to address) is that immigration is a primary cause of income inequality in the U.S., and the “reforms” they are pushing would only make the problem worse.

It is not just FAIR and other opponents of the immigration bills now before Congress making the connection between mass immigration and income inequality. The connection is now being acknowledged by some on the far left, including, and Mother Jones.

Citing the meatpacking industry as an example, a recent article republished by noted:

“Would Americans kill pigs for $18 an hour? Hell, yes, they would. There would be a line from Sioux City to Dubuque for those jobs. But Big Meat’s defeat of Big Labor means it can now negotiate the lowest possible wages with the most desperate workers: usually Mexican immigrants who are willing to endure dangerous conditions for what would be considered a huge pile of money in their home country. Slaughterhouses hire immigrants not because they’re the only workers willing to kill and cut apart pigs, but because they’re the only workers willing to kill and cut apart pigs for low wages, in unsafe conditions.”

Whether they choose to acknowledge it or not, the Democrats will have to choose between these two policy objectives. Doing both is impossible.

About Author


Ira joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 1986 with experience as a journalist, professor of journalism, special assistant to Gov. Richard Lamm (Colorado), and press secretary of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee. His columns have appeared in National Review, LA Times, NY Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, and more. He is an experienced TV and radio commentator.


  1. avatar

    Starting in the 1970s, the meat packing industry replaced well-paid, often union workforces, with immigrant workers, first legal immigrants and more recently illegal immigrants, at much lower wages (Beck, 1996). In 1980, meatpacking plants paid average wages of $22.31/hr. (inflation-adjusted 2007 dollars). In 2007, average wages in the industry had fallen to $11.81, approximately half of what they had once been (Jackson, 2008). Companies paying poverty level wages compete very successfully with other companies, and eventually all the workers in an industry may be reduced to poverty, as happened in the meat packing industry. The same process is going on with the companies that employ people in the building trades, custodial services, and other occupations. Even in large, unionized firms, including auto companies, we are seeing an increasing number of two-tier wage and benefit programs that pay new workers poverty-level wages of only half what older workers are making. Our immigration policy is allowing businesses to increase profits and achieve competitive advantages over other American businesses by almost totally bypassing unemployed native-born Americans in favor of cheaper immigrants. Minority Americans are particularly disadvantaged by this business strategy. Only reducing immigration, legal and illegal, can stop this.

  2. avatar

    The democrats want amnesty for illegals out of the goodness of their hearts (oh, and by the way, it adds millions and millions of liberal voters) The unions want to organize those amnestied illegals to raise the wages to a living standard (and, by the way, the illegals will add to the union coffers and keep the union leaders in a lifestyle they’ve become accustomed to). The right spin on inequality and they can accomplish their power hungry, greed goals and the rest of us pay.

  3. avatar

    Pls let it be, one way or the other we are all from some where so let them work ad help with our economy , it’s already what it is, no one knows tomorrow

  4. avatar
    Frank Mitchell on

    It always amazes me to hear the same people that bemoan stagnant wages and the lack of a “living wage”, encourage illegal & legal immigration. Do they actually have NO CONCEPT of the economic law of Supply & Demand? Even the economists that support Amnesty use faulty analysis confusing our saturated labor market with some type of labor deficient market.

    Pay a legal wage and get a legal workforce.

    There are NO jobs that legal residents will not do for a legal wage. Unfortunately, businesses like to use illegal labor because it allows them to drive down wages and working conditions. US taxpayers are currently forced to subsidize each illegal worker’s salary (about $5/hour) to cover their social costs including long-term costs for their US born children.

    Without the ability to pay “black market” wages and without the “social costs” subsidy, employers would end up paying the “real” cost of their labor and US citizens would be employed instead of illegal aliens. This would increase wages toward a “living wage”.

    If you are in favor of a “living wage” and lower unemployment, then you MUST be against high immigration rates for low-skilled workers. Otherwise, you are completely against all of the market and economic forces that drive the global economy.

    To put it simply: If you are trying to increase wages and job availability, it is absolute insanity to increase the supply of labor for that market.

    The most obvious conclusion is that a policy of strict workplace enforcement and deportation is the best/fastest method to reduce unemployment. In other words, encourage this population to move elsewhere (to their home countries).

    Fix & fully implement E-Verify. Fine and imprison employers who employ illegal aliens. Deport ALL illegal aliens quickly, humanely and efficiently. Enforce the LAW!

  5. avatar

    I Just Stumbled On to an Open Border Take in Fortune magazine, 1/13/14, Page 54

    Titlled, “Will Allowing More Foreign Workers Shrink the Salary Gap?”, Nina Easton

    This hogwash article tries to be neutral, but inserts the bogus Greenspan formula for success…..bring in the brainy foreigners to replace American degreed professionals [it doesn’t say, but we all know, at substantially lower salaries like MSFT does] and the income inequality gap is fixed.

    All of us become paupers. I think we should replace Ms. Easton’s job first…..LOL

    There’s more overpopulation news in this Fortune Magazine too….turn to page 12, “China Goes (Baby) Boom”, by Scott Cendrowski

    This article is far more neutral, albeit emphasizes that 1 child per family creates an abundance of males and a growing elderly population. It infers that worker productivity magically goes up with more births. Doesn’t say how, just states it. It then goes on to state that China’s labor issues [they want more pay] can’t be fixed with more children anyway….

    • avatar

      You have spoken the entire problem. Democrats do not mention this, however, to be able to vote , all you need is an I.D. and an address of a bill that comes to you. With this, you do not even need a social security number .
      When I called WA state Dept. of Licensing , they said if you produce evidence you already live in WA with the address and bill, they take a photo of you so you don’t necessarily need a license.
      When you ask the person in charge of voting, they say you only need an I.D. and address here in the precinct to vote and you must sign some paperwork too. When asking if they want to see your “citizenship papers” she said, “No”.
      Are you kidding ??
      That means that anyone can get a ballot mailed to them to vote !
      Wow !
      Now I know why Democrats allow immigration to flounder as they know it will produce votes, or so it seems….
      The right thing to do is what you mention above and expose this process that goes on right underneath our noses.
      “Whatever is ethically wrong cannot be professionally right.” – Altman

      As well, Democrats assume everyone loves having unchecked neighbors. I know people who’ve been here since the Carter Admin. and never became citizens.
      “Why” ?, I asked.
      We never had need to.
      Citizenship means absolutely nothing any more and neither does the fact that 90% of Americans have been here for generations.
      Write to your representatives and proclaim you are still here and that WE are the MAJORITY and are still very much alive.
      I know that it is more important to do things the right way and obey laws. If people coming here do not know laws nor how to read, it will be a burden to all tax paying citizens.
      We shouldn’t feel like we have to obey any laws then? There is not enough money to enforce the ones we already have on the books!
      The Republicans are the only ones willing to put us first.
      Who raised you to not believe in God. Jesus said the law of Love is the greatest.
      In Romans 13:1-7 — “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. There is no authority except from
      God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
      2 Timothy 3:16 — ” …all Scripture is useful for training.”
      Titus 3:1
      The words of Paul the Apostle stand true. Whether slave or free man, we all have to obey.
      That includes when we get taken over in America by ungodly people who have not trusted in God and do not love him and respect laws.
      Lawlessness is a ‘sin’. Jesus came to stop the old Laws of the Old Testament and establish Love. He hated religious people , he called them ” White washed tombs”.
      Instead, we need to obey the laws that are already inspired by God for our protection. These are not dreamed up somewhere and God lives among us if we seek him.
      Every lawmaker should adhere to God and seek him in all they do, as every citizen should. Laws are made to be obeyed, not broken.
      May God help us all .

  6. avatar

    At one time those meatpacking jobs WERE held by middle class Americans. Because they were high paying UNION jobs. It is a FACT that the packing companies were shown to be recruiting people in Mexico to come here illegally, and wages were slashed and the lines speeded up because they knew the illegals couldn’t and wouldn’t complain.

    You are NOT for the American working class if you support the massive immigration that the Senate “reform” bill would allow in. It’s not 1900. Outsourcing and technology have taken away many jobs. The remaining jobs should be for Americans. Is it a coincidence that union membership was the highest in the 1950s, and immigration was a small fraction of what it is now? No, it’s not, it’s the law of supply and demand.

    • avatar
      Nancy Cuddeback on

      The 21st century is a repeat of the 19th century, on steroids! But, instead of having sweatshops in America, they have access to global sweatshops. And the added bonus of FREE TRADE, which means no tariffs to pay when shipping the cheap junk they produce back to the American consumer. And now they’re getting ready to pass another free trade agreement with more Third World countries. It’s called the Trans Pacific Partnership and Obama is all for it. Of course, the news media has been pretty much silent on the whole subject. Surprise, surprise, since they are all run by major corporations.

  7. avatar

    Increasing IA and Other Immigration Overpopulation Growth in America Right Now

    Is like adding gasoline to the income inequality gap fire, in order to contain it.

  8. avatar

    Brown nosing Dems will push for illegal alien amnesty and more unnecessary immigration numbers, but who are the real parasites?

    • avatar

      For an excellent presentation on immigration (and this the LEGAL side of it), please check out the following and then forward it to whomever you think might benefit from it. (It’s visual enough that even a slow-witted Democrat can get it. I hope!)

      Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010 – YouTube