Hillary Clinton sought to comfort Americans who are “fearful” of immigration reform Tuesday by saying legalizing undocumented immigrants already in the U.S. will improve the job market for everybody.
Those remarks, which Clinton made at a roundtable meeting at Rancho High School in Las Vegas, were part of an aggressive plan to provide a path to citizenship to illegal immigrants and to provide amnesty to the parents of DREAMers.
On the job market and wages, Clinton said:
Often times when I have conversations with people who are fearful about immigration reform, their fears are rooted in the feeling that they are losing jobs that are going to people who are undocumented. And part of the reason that fear has a reality to it is because if people can pay you six dollars an hour, because you are undocumented, then why would they pay somebody who already is a citizen what the minimum wage or the prevailing wage should be?
So my argument is, the quicker we can legalize the people who are here, the better the job market will be for everybody because you will not have a group of people who are taken advantage of, and you will not have others who feel as though, and to some extent it is true, they are losing jobs because this group that is being taken advantage of is paid so much less and being treated so much worse.
So my argument to people who worry about comprehensive immigration reform and the effect on their jobs is: it’s just the opposite. The sooner we can get to legalization, the better the job market will be for everybody.