DACA’s continued existence could spell the beginning of the end to the American white working class. President Trump has now brought this issue forward and has the power to kill it. In this discussion we normally hear economists sounding off at each other over whether the immigrants take our jobs, lower our wages, or start businesses, and if it’s beneficial economically to keep them in the country. Though it remains a valid discussion, the conversation of the cultural effects seems to remain on the back burner. What the U.S.A. needs to be answering is: Are we ready to say goodbye to the white working class?
To get to the root of the cultural attacks the white working class faces. We need look no further than the culture of who we’re letting live here as illegal aliens. According to Dianna M. Nanez and Laura Gomez at AZ Central, of the 790,000 DACA recipients, 78% are Mexican. Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino and Elected Officials says, “You have entire communities that are almost entirely Mexican in the Rio Grande Valley, and it’s not going to change soon.” We have a large percentage of Mexican immigrants being let into our country and it’s drastically affecting their ability to assimilate to the American way of life. Letting in more, especially those from Mexico and other Spanish speaking cultures, will only exacerbate these circumstances. This makes both the country, the workforce, and the American working class more divided.
It is evident that Hispanics are becoming a peasant class to white collar Americans. According to a 2015 study done by the U.S Census Bureau, less than 15% of Hispanics have a bachelor’s degree, while around 36% of whites have bachelor’s degrees. Lost in between these lines are the working class. Although unemployment is at only 4.1% for whites, their labor force participation is at 63% while Hispanic labor participation is at 66%, according to a BLS study from 2015. This includes discouraged workers, meaning people who are no longer actively looking for a job. It’s clear that the demographic effects of illegal immigration are hurting the white working class in the United States labor market (Which would partially explain why white men have the highest rate of suicide in the nation and it’s constant rise from 2000-2015, according to a study done by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention); as well as the decline in life expectancy among middle-aged white men linking it to: “a lack of steady, well-paying jobs for whites without college degrees.”
Bringing in mass amounts of immigrants from developing and third world countries who have a completely different understanding of standard of living not only tosses Americans out of the workforce, but also makes our American men weaker. According Natalie Jacewicz of NPR, among Americans ages 20-34, occupational therapists found that men younger than 30 have significantly weaker hand grips than their counterparts in 1985 did. She links this to a mass occupational change. According to a study out of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, among western men, we have also seen a sperm count decline of around 50% since 1973, of which can be linked to a lack of heavy lifting. The lack of hard labor certainly seems to be taking a toll on our nation’s white men more than any other. Especially considering the study also states the sperm counts among American minorities and other non-white nations is either stagnant or rising.
Programs like DACA only further complicate the circumstances by which the white working class becomes increasingly unemployed, culturally dominated, and consequently erased. The renewal or cancellation of programs like DACA is a testament of our nation’s current and future attitude towards the white American worker. Do we want to see a future America with a dominant peasant class of Spanish-speaking migrant workers, or do we aspire to focus on the forgotten men who played the dominant role in building the country we have today? It’s high time Trump scraps culturally damaging plans like DACA and moves forward with his “America First” campaign promise.