Philadelphia City Council Declares Stealing Jobs a Fundamental Right

The Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution on April 28 declaring that illegal aliens have a fundamental right to work in the United States, aptly forgetting about the United States Constitution, federal law, and the laws of most, if not all, other developed nations. Indeed, federal law prohibits employers from hiring noncitizens unless they have received work authorization from the federal government.

The resolution, passed just one business day before May Day, recognizes “every person’s fundamental right to earn a living, regardless of immigration status, and affirming the City of Philadelphia’s commitment to protect and secure a safe and dignified workplace for all.” The Council approved the resolution 14-3, despite glaring conflicts with the resolution’s message with the concept of citizenship and the Rule of Law.

The Supreme Court of the United States has repeatedly held that the United States, as a sovereign nation, has the right to exclude aliens from its borders. This power is a basic attribute of sovereignty. The United States Constitution assigns this power specifically to Congress, and Congress, with its plenary authority, has delegated some authority to the Executive Branch. Included in Congress’ plenary authority is the power limit employment eligibility to it citizens, and lawmakers have good reason to protect its citizens from potential flooding of the labor market. Under Congress’s current immigration scheme, not even all immigrants in the United States legally have the right to work.

The resolution, although not binding in any capacity, also sends the wrong message to those concerned about workers’ rights. Ironically, the policy agenda the Philadelphia City Council is advocating hurts low-income workers in particular. By turning a blind eye to the rule of law and fostering a society where unauthorized aliens are free to work despite their unlawful presence, these policies would give employers free rein to exploit their employees and keep wages low.

Even esteemed labor activist Cesar Chavez opposed illegal aliens’ ability to work in the United States. Chavez strongly supported immigration enforcement and believed that mass illegal immigration robs workers, especially low-income workers, of their bargaining power. He also believed illegal aliens are impediments to the labor movement, stating “If we can get the illegals out of California, we will win the strike overnight,” and organized a campaign to identify and remove unauthorized workers from the United States.

Lawmakers that are truly concerned about labor conditions in the United States should consider supporting immigration enforcement, rather. Immigration enforcement is one of many keys to ensuring labor conditions and workers’ rights are protected in the United States. Without such, the most vulnerable classes of Americans (their constituents) are deprived of a voice and meaningful ways to make a living.

About Author


Dan is the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s President after joining the organization in 1982. He has testified more than 50 times before Congress, and been cited in the media as "America's best-known immigration reformer." Dan has appeared on virtually every significant TV and radio news/talk program in America and, in addition to being a contributing editor to, has contributed commentaries to a vast number of print media outlets.


  1. avatar

    Bill Webb is right on. Over population is the biggest threat to the human race and the planet. We need to keep all these people out of here and throw the illegals out. If we do not, we will become overpopulated and our entire environment will be destroyed.

  2. avatar
    EDward Vanover on

    Time for Philadelphia to get a letter. SInce the “government” of Philly is the one that has decided to violate Federal/Constitutional law, it is only right and fitting that the CITY be deprived of all Federal funding. ALL of it! This is not an (equally unlawful) simple act of defiance by law enforcement, it’s a blatant, spit in your eye at the Federal government.
    So, NO Federal funding to Philadelphia. Not even ONE CENT for the “City of Brotherly Love” and the home of the Constitution. Which apparently no one there is capable of reading.

  3. avatar

    philly is like chicago ,every morning they have to go around and pick up the dead bodies

  4. avatar

    It’s a battle over resources. As long as the overpopulation from the rest of the world continues to pour into the US, we will become overpopulated and outstrip the available resources. It needs to stop immediately. No more illegal immigration, no more refugees. No more asylum from the overpopulated world. We still can remain self sufficient but the end is coming unless we do something.

  5. avatar

    Our country is so prosperous that our children do not want hard labor. It happens in america periodically. We had to bring in the Chinese to do the hard labor on the railroads. Immigrants came to work in the steel mills and become miners. I talk to contractors and landscapers who can’t find anyone to work for minimum wage. I work in health care and we can’t find American’s to be nurses aids. It seems they feel cleaning patient’s up is too hard for minimum wage. Immigrants are glad to work just to have the opportunity to be in a great country. They always have been.

    • avatar

      45 million Americans live in poverty. Even more are unemployed or missing from the job market. The idea that Americans are not willing and able to take low-skill jobs is a myth

      • avatar

        Elizabeth, correction, not a myth, just what you belief. I have seen it myself across multiple jobs……….Lynn is correct, you are not wrong, you just have to be more experienced and traveled….etc

        Now the low level skill it is true most americans will not do those jobs, NOW the engineering jobs we have an issue with H1B… that is far damaging and the humanitarian programs and welfare….

        Do some math….330M people 20M Mexicans working off the books harder than you and I put together….etc etc

        • avatar
          Bill Carrothers on

          Peter, evidently you have not figured out that a green card for an immigrant means a pink slip for an American worker. Want to see what happens when Mexico’s dregs become the majority of the population of a community? Visit the Mexican slum that Salinas, California has become. As Donald J. Trump would say: “Make Mexico Great Again! Return there!

    • avatar

      Your argument falls apart when you say companies can’t find “anyone to work for minimum wage”. Uh, yeah. Pay more. It’s called supply and demand. Look it up.

      • avatar

        Leland Lynn is correct… have an easy life, you never suffered like the poor people do…..Lynn did not look it up has seen it as i have..I would suggest you don’t just look it up……get you butt out the coach and do that work for a change, if are able to handle it. a real job for you and travel……….that is your look it up…

        IT was the case that those jobs paid well in the past……17 hour+….so you did not care….The People did not care……

        Now some charge lower to get the JOB that is the reality…SUPPLY and DEMAND you dummy….

    • avatar
      Glenn Shannon on

      Lynn back in the old days there wasn’t such a thing as a job an American wouldn’t do but then along came Johnson’s great society plus other additional programs that made working for a living a loosing proposition and thru we now have almost 50% on some kind of government program unwilling to work.

    • avatar

      Part of the problem is you have people working for minimum wage jobs, that should be paid more and I’m not talking about a hamburger flipper. Jobs like Landscaping are very hard work and if they can’t find people for minimum wage they need to up their wage not import cheap labor. The problem is they can’t up their wage because others are hiring illegal aliens, so it creates an artificial pricing. If all companies were forced to pay what it cost to do a job, I’ll come please prices will go up, and it would be evenly distributed.

      • avatar

        Rod which calls for immigration reform….in my time I saw the illegals and us getting paid the same……but The People NEVER CARED…..we used them but that is least of our problems…..the biggest is the outsource of jobs, H1Bs and corporations like oil………

    • avatar

      The New York Times is making a big deal about how they have a hired a new “conservative” writer called Bret Stephens. But he comes from the Wall Street Journal and promotes all that libertarian open borders nonsense of theirs. The Times already has Thomas Friedman to do that, a guy who never met a “free trade” deal he didn’t love. Unfortunately for him, all those rosy predictions he makes about how those deals will be good for American workers never ever pan out. We drop our trade restrictions and the other country doesn’t.

  6. avatar

    This is somewhat similar to the presidential race in France. The pro-European Union candidate, Emmanuel Macron, basically claims that citizens of that country have no choice in the matter. Open borders. unrestricted imports, cultural changes, he presents these things as inevitable. On the matter of Muslim immigration and terrorist attacks, he says we just have to get used to them and accept it as part of life. If a truck runs over one of your family or they are shot down at a concert in Paris, that’s how it goes. His opponent, Marine Le Pen, says no, you can vote for another way.

    Now Hillary is back and blaming her defeat on everyone but herself. Never mind that she committed one of the biggest, to use a sports term, “unforced errors”, in American political history. She deliberately stood before microphones and told half the American electorate they were deplorable and irredeemable, an act that could not have gained her anything, but lost her a huge amount of undecideds. Even among Trump’s most ardent supporters there was a significant percentage that rated him negatively on certain things. But when it came to the biggest thing, he wasn’t her.

    • avatar

      that is why his ratings are low and the republicans will lose the seats again…doesn’t it look familiar?…yes…Leland we do need to get out of this vicious circle….obviously going back and forth democrats n republicans has put us on standby since Reagan’s time..just give it some thought…

      • avatar

        And yet a Washington Post poll just a week ago found that 96% of his voters would do it again, whereas only 85% of Hillary’s would. In a head to head revote question, he beat her by 3 points. The Democrats are stuck in a cycle where they keep having to go further and further to the left to win primaries, but that turns off an even larger part of the electorate. If your concerns are promoting illegals, Muslims, and transgender bathrooms, the Democrats are now your party. And if you think going back and forth between parties is something only since Reagan, you need to pick up a history book. If you answer, just address what I said, not your usual meaningless babble.

        • avatar

          Well Leland go ahead and get drunk about it…..I will not next year we will see…….

    • avatar
      Glenn Shannon on

      Leland yet he is ahead in the poles and it seem he is sure to win, so that tells you the intelligence of the voters.

      • avatar

        Glenn no kidding…as the Europeans than in average are smarter than we are…..

        • avatar
          Glenn Shannon on

          So peter you call electing a person that wants totally open borders intelligent? France has already had a lot of terrorist activity so guess they enjoy getting killed.