The Corner

Cesar Chavez, Border Hawk

From 30 years ago this month:

The Associated Press

April 18, 1979, Wednesday, PM cycle

BYLINE: By OWEN ULLMANN, AP Labor Writer

SECTION: Washington Dateline

Cesar Chavez, his United Farm Workers union locked in another struggle he fears it may not survive, is resorting once again to his ultimate weapon — a call for a consumer boycott. The target is not grapes or lettuce or wine. It is Chiquita bananas. . . .

Chavez contends the growers are trying to break the strike — and ultimately the UFW — by importing illegal aliens to replace the striking farm workers. Non-union harvesting is up to 30 percent “and increasing,” he said, claiming the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service is ignoring the situation.

“If we cannot stop the unchecked illegal immigrant strike-breaking game that they’ve been playing, it’ll be very serious for the entire union. We need desperately to get the government to enforce the law.”

Now, I don’t especially care whether the United Farm Workers won in this case or any other — but I do think that it’s Americans who should make the decision. For more on the first border Minuteman, see here.

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