A FAIR Response to Last Night's State of the Union Address
Statement from Dan Stein, President of the Federation for American Immigration Reform
(January 13, 2016 — Washington, D.C.) - In his valedictory State of the Union Address, President Obama spoke at length about the need to ensure that every American willing to work hard should get a fair shot in our economy. This important goal, shared by all Americans, is being undermined daily by the president’s immigration policies.
Over seven years, the president has eviscerated immigration enforcement, particularly in the workplace, where some 8 million illegal aliens fill jobs that might otherwise have gone to hard working Americans seeking their fair shot at prosperity. He has repeatedly asserted virtually unlimited executive power in order to grant amnesty and work authorization to millions of illegal aliens. As recently as this month his administration has unveiled plans to allow foreign graduates of American universities to claim good-paying jobs. The reality is that over the course of his presidency, all of the net new jobs created in the U.S. economy were filled by immigrants.
In his address, the president asserted that immigrants are not the principle reason why wages have not gone up for millions of struggling Americans who have fallen out of the middle class. But that does not mean that excessive immigration and his own refusal to enforce immigration laws are not important exacerbating factors adding to the many national and global conditions that have taken their toll on American workers.
There are clearly many things that need to be done to address growing income and wealth inequality in the U.S., but none of them will have much impact unless the president is prepared to set aside his political agenda and implement immigration policies designed to secure the interests of American workers.