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Friday, February 26, 2021

EDITORIAL: Biden’s Oval Office change of iconography is a bust

President Joe Biden redecorated his office in the early days of his fledgling administration. In the Oval Office redo, some busts were added — those of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Robert Kennedy, Rosa Parks, Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few — others removed. Gone is the bust of World War II-era British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, while one of the late United Farm Workers union leader Cesar Chavez has been added — and we have some problems with that.

The banishment of Churchill was a reprise of the disrespect for our nation’s “special relationship” with Britain, mirroring a similar show of disdain for Churchill by Mr. Biden’s erstwhile boss, President Barack Obama in 2009.

The bronze bust was a gift to President George W. Bush from British Prime Minister Tony Blair in a show of solidarity following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. So much for “never forget.”

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To “diss” our country’s most enduring ally in such an appalling fashion — as though to somehow “stick it” to Mr. Biden’s predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who had brought Churchill back into the Oval Office — was disturbing.

But Mr. Biden is mistaken if he thinks giving the place of honor behind the Resolute Desk to Chavez is somehow another rebuffing of Mr. Trump. The move in no way repudiates Mr. Trump’s strong stance on controlling immigration — illegal immigration in particular. Moreover, the symbolism of the Chavez bust rankles.

That’s because Chavez, who co-founded the United Farm Workers, also was extremely outspoken against illegal immigration.

Chavez, who died in 1993, wouldn’t likely have supported Mr. Biden’s designs on rewarding with undeserved amnesty the estimated 11 million illegal aliens in the country. (Many opponents of illegal immigration suspect the true number of illegals here is much higher than that, and worse, rightly fear that granting amnesty would incentivize millions more to flow across the southern border.)

Chavez criticized illegals as “wetbacks” and pointed out that the widespread employment by agribusiness of cheap illegal farm labor only served to hold down wages for UFW members.

He also testified before a congressional committee in 1979 how illegal immigration, together with government and agribusiness complicity, hurt the wages and living standards of legal farmworkers. The historical revisionists, open-borders activists, and Mr. Biden would probably prefer we forget all that.

While it’s true that in his later years, Chavez moderated his anti-illegal immigration views under pressure from Chicano activists, the laws of supply and demand have not been repealed.

Legalizing 11 million-plus illegal aliens and, in so doing, luring here untold millions more will vastly enlarge the labor supply. That will only depress wages and make many Americans poorer.


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