Talking Points Memo: Former Republican Cabinet Secretary Dismantles ‘Dangerous’ Right-Wing Immigration Talking Point

 A former cabinet secretary under President George W. Bush took apart a main talking point that conservatives have used to oppose immigration reform. Speaking at the Hispanic Leadership Network conference, former Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez addressed the notion, oft-repeated on the right, that immigrants “take jobs away from Americans.”

That idea “is so dangerous because it is so wrong,” said Gutierrez. He pointed to two examples of immigrants he knew, one farmer and one restaurant owner, who were already thriving. If they can find more workers, they could expand, giving “more American citizens jobs,” Gutierrez noted.

GUTIERREZ: The idea that, some people are saying these days that immigrants are coming to take jobs away from Americans, is so dangerous because it is so wrong. For the government to start making policies on the basis of that assumption is something that can really impact this economy in a negative way. Let me give you two examples. […] A pumpkin farmer, tremendous family business, he would say, “look, if I had more workers, I would grow. I would extend my field, I would open up more distribution centers, and I would give more American citizens jobs.” Another gentleman has three restaurants. A new business, small business. He said, “if I had enough workers, I would have eight restaurants.” Like a microcosm of the economy. That is what’s happening everywhere, so you multiply that by hundreds of thousands of businesses that could grow if we had a legal immigration system that works.

To watch the video please click here.

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