Liberal Icon Cesar Chávez Opposed Illegal Immigration

I was listening to Mark Levin last night on Sirius/XM when I heard him discussing an article I think came from the American Spectator. It was about Cesar Chávez and illegal immigration. (Listen to Levin at the end of the article.)

“Chávez (1927–1993) was an American farm worker, labor leader and civil rights activist, who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW).”

He would be considered a pro-union liberal. Consider the following from “Cesar Chávez: Anti-Immigration to His Union Core”:


A Mexican American, Chávez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members.

Call it the whitewash of Cesar Chávez. Yes, that Cesar Chávez: the late farm worker unionizer (he died in 1993) honored repeatedly by President Obama. The man the Left loves to name drop for his role in organizing all-those grape and lettuce and melon pickers in the day.

But there is a considerable twist to the story. In fact, Cesar Chávez believed ferociously in the border of the United States — because that border protected his union. So ferociously did he hold this view that the New York Times ran a story detailing an accusation that the union Chavez founded, the United Farm Workers, set up a 100 mile “wet line” to keep “wetbacks” and “illegals” — yes, all of those are Chavez’s words — out of the United States. So let’s go back in the time machine to the period when Chavez was rocketing to fame.

It was just after midnight on June 5, 1968. Forty-six years ago. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, the brother and confidante of the martyred JFK, now himself a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, had just won the California primary.

The Democratic National Convention was set for August, and, President Lyndon Johnson having withdrawn from the race, what lay ahead were two and a half months of political combat with Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy and LBJ’s vice president, Hubert Humphrey.

But this night in June, RFK had stepped to the podium in front of a cheering crowd in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles to claim victory. Long forgotten now is the diminutive woman who was at his side, and the man for whom she worked. Both of whom were acknowledged by Bobby Kennedy before he left the podium, shortly thereafter to be assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.

Here’s the video of the first part of RFK’s victory speech from that night. At about 5:20, RFK says: “I want to thank Cesar Chávez, who was here a little earlier.”

That would be the Cesar Chávez who was already a Hispanic icon. Founder of the National Farm Workers Association (later renamed as the United Farm Workers or UFW), Chavez was the Martin Luther King of Chicanos who, like King and their mutual hero Gandhi, believed and supposedly practiced non-violence.

Chavez was a member of Kennedy’s victorious California slate of delegates elected in the primary. Chavez wasn’t on the platform because he’d stepped away to look for his wife. But that didn’t stop the crowd from chanting at RFK’s arrival at the podium: “We want Chavez! We want Kennedy! We want Chavez!”

Read more at The American Spectator.

Take a look at this video by Mark Levin:

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