Thursday, July 11, 2013

Former Sen. Allen B. West, Florida Republican, and Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, are speaking at the D.C. March for Jobs on July 15, signifying a first for the two Tea Party favorites: headlining an event for a progressive organization. The two notable conservatives are standing with environmentalist progressives to stop immigrants “both legal and illegal from taking Americans’ jobs.”

Leah Durant, executive director of Progressives for Immigration Reform and founder of the Black American Leadership Alliance, announced Mr. West and Mr. Cruz’s participation. Progressives for Immigration Reform is an unlikely ally for Mr. Cruz and Mr. West, as the organization promotes zero population growth and touts a climate-control agenda, both of which are anathemas to conservatives.

The protectionist stance for jobs is a new role for Mr. Cruz and Mr. West in their advocacy for the American working class and the protection of jobs for poor minorities. Their new assertion is that we need to “protect” jobs from illegal and legal immigrants who are “taking” low-skilled jobs. This raises the question: Since when do conservatives believe in protectionism? Conservatives traditionally promote lower taxes and reduced regulations as the formula to stimulate small businesses and job growth. Protectionism and planned labor economy are not conservative values.

In naming immigrants as a major reason for American unemployment, Mr. West steers away from the former Tea Party stance that President Obama, the liberals and their progressive economic policies are why Americans do not have jobs. He has changed the narrative to a “blame game” copy from Mr. Obama’s teleprompter. This is not going to help conservatives. It looks hypocritical.

Mr. West now complains that black American unemployment is high because we allow legal immigrants into the country. The former reasons were disintegration of the family, a failing public school system, the welfare system, liberal politicians and progressive economic policies. These were the factors thought to be restricting many minorities’ ability to climb up the ladder of economic progress. Is Mr. West changing his tune now?

It is wrong to use immigrants as scapegoats. It is class warfare. The introduction of racial division between immigrants and Americans is not a conservative value. Protectionism, planned economies, racial division and using immigrants as scapegoats will damage the credibility of Mr. Cruz and Mr. West.


Dale City, Va.

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