Politics

Wasserman Schultz: Illegals ‘Part Of The Backbone Of Our Economy’

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

The head of the Democratic National Committee told 140 million American workers Tuesday that eight million illegal foreign workers are “part of the backbone of our economy.”

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz made the remark during an interview with George Ramos on the Fusion channel, when she was asked about Democrats’ response to the arrival of 200,000 illegal immigrants from Central America.

The Democrats’ welcome for the Central Americans “isn’t about politics at all,” Wasserman Schultz insisted, even though new immigrants overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

“It’s not about politics for the president, nor is it about politics for any of us who care about making sure that young people or people in general, who have come to this country simply to make a better way of life for themselves and are of no threat to our country, and actually, essentially have become a part of the backbone of our economy, that we create a pathway to legal status for them, to citizenship,” she said.

“The idea that [illegals] are the engine of our economy growth is laughable,” said Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Illegals comprise less than five percent of the nation’s workforce, and have fewer skills and less education than Americans, he added.

Natural-born Americans are a majority of every job category, including janitors, meat processors, taxi drivers and maids, according to a 2013 report by Krikorian’s center.

Wasserman Schultz made her statement the same week as a new poll of 1,001 registered voters showed that liberals are up to three times more likely than conservatives to support the hiring of foreign workers in place of American workers.

Thirty-four percent of liberals, and 26 percent of Democrats, said either that immigrants should be preferred over Americans for jobs, or that they did not know if anyone should be preferred, according to a new survey by pollster Kellyanne Conway.

The survey showed that Americans view immigration as an economic issue, because they’re worried about immigration’s impact on their jobs and wages, she said.

Overall, 77 percent of the Conway’s likely-voter respondents said Americans should be favored over immigrants. That opinion was shared by 88 percent of Republicans, 79 percent of independents and 78 percent of moderates.

Many other Democrats have praised illegal and legal immigrants in the same breath.

“We must remember the blood of immigrants flows through all of our veins. … All of them bring their hopes, their determination, their optimism for the future, their commitment to family, faith and community,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told an audience of illegal immigrants attending an pro-amnesty rally last October.

“In coming here with those American traits, all of the immigrants make America more American,” she announced.

“Thank you for making America more American,” she told the illegals.

Roughly 40 million immigrants, including at least 12 million illegals, live in the United States.

Follow Neil on Twitter