MSNBC host Joe Scarborough falsely claimed that for “white working class Americans,” “a flood of immigrants coming to the United States means not only they lose their jobs, but they're also smart enough to know it depresses their wages.” Scarborough’s false claim has been repeatedly debunked, but has nonetheless been embraced by President Donald Trump to push an anti-immigrant agenda.
Contrary to Scarborough’s claim, study after study has found little evidence that immigration negatively affects American’s wages in the long term, and research shows that immigrants tend to take jobs that Americans don’t want. Despite experts arriving at these results time and time again, conservative media figures and nativist groups -- particularly the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and NumbersUSA -- continue to spread these lies, which Republicans such as President Trump have seized upon for political purposes.
From the August 3 edition of MSNBC’s Morning Joe:
JOE SCARBOROUGH (CO-HOST): I'm talking about the national [Democratic] Party is clueless and they are just as disconnected from working class Americans as they've ever been. Are they going to blow this advantage that Trump's been given to them? Is there concerns among Democratic activists and Democratic donors that the Democratic leadership still doesn't get it?
STEVE RATTNER: There are a lot of concerns among the Democratic activists about what's going on in the party. Remember, the Republican Party, as we saw in health care and we've seen in other issues, has its own set of divisions within it. The Democratic Party has its own set of divisions within it. You have obviously the progressive wing, the Bernie Sanders/Elizabeth Warren wing that have a set of policies and a set of things they want, and you have sort of I would call almost the remnants of the centrist wing. They're a little bit like the French Resistance. They're hiding in the woods, and they're a little bit afraid to come out, but they're there. And that has not been resolved. And what you see in the Democrat -- so-called new Democratic platform that's come out the last few days are kind of a bunch of fairly small-bore, specific kinds of ideas that they could build a consensus around but not a vision --
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (CO-HOST): But it’s “A Better Deal.”
RATTNER: “A Better Deal” -- but not a real vision of where they want to go and what their -- and we'll get to [INAUDIBLE], we’ll get to this on immigration. Immigration is one of those issues. I'm sorry?
SCARBOROUGH: I said it sounds like a Hardee's ad. “A Better Deal.” And the immigration issue, Lanhee, that's a perfect example. And I'm going to get jumped by saying this because I'm in Manhattan.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: No you're not.
SCARBOROUGH: Yup. I'm not?
BRZEZINSKI: No you're not.
SCARBOROUGH: This a perfect example. The Democratic Party has lost white working class Americans because of immigration. That's an issue. And there's such a blind spot that they don't understand. They really don't understand that for a lot of working class Americans, a flood of immigrants coming to the United States means not only they lose their jobs, but they also are smart enough to know it depresses their wages. So when they hear Donald Trump saying, “Hey, let's lessen the number of immigrants coming to the United States of America,” working class Democrats --
BRZEZINSKI: Even if it defies the actual numbers in terms of -- but politically.
SCARBOROUGH: Working class Democrats think, “Well it's pretty good for wages.”