Op-ed: Cesar Chavez Couldn’t Get the Feds to Enforce the Border, Either

By Mark Krikorian on March 28, 2024
National Border Control Day


“What the heck’s going on? It’s just — it’s a complete breakdown of the law. They’re not doing anything.”

This isn’t Donald Trump at a rally complaining about the Biden crowd’s maladministration of the border. It was Cesar Chavez’s assessment of immigration enforcement under an earlier Democratic administration, in a speech delivered 45 years ago at the National Press Club in Washington.

The more things change . . .

This Sunday, March 31, isn’t just Easter — it’s also National Border Control Day, i.e., Cesar Chavez’s birthday. And on his birthday, it’s worth reflecting on the difficulty in getting immigration laws enforced when powerful interests don’t want them to be.

For the past three years, the federal agency responsible for preventing illegal entry into the United States has instead been facilitating and even encouraging it. And for almost as long, Texas, with the majority of its border with Mexico, has been doing whatever it can think of to stymie illegal immigration.

Texas is thus reprising the role played by Chavez’s United Farm Workers union in the 1960s and 1970s, when it fought illegal immigration to protect the jobs and bargaining power of Americans workers — trying to compensate for the fact that Border Patrol was effectively prohibited from enforcing immigration laws. Chavez was battling large farming interests, while Texas is fighting policies promoted by the gentry Left, but the fight is the same: to see that the immigration laws passed by the people’s elected representatives are actually implemented.

. . . 

[Read the rest at National Review.]