Star Parker

In this case, “prevailing wage.” “Prevailing wage” is a defining provision of the Davis Bacon Act, passed in 1931 to keep unskilled black labor from competing with union workers – at the time uniformly white – on federally funded projects.

“Prevailing wages” are generally union wages and assure that taxpayers pay top dollar for government construction projects. Now, in the name of immigration reform, the “prevailing wage” standard is brought, for the first time, to the private sector.

Which gets to the fairness issue. Employment set asides designated for unskilled foreign workers, with wage levels set by government, is nothing but a stick in the eye to competing low wage workers in the American market.

It so happens that today these would be black workers. At 13.8%, black unemployment now is almost double the national average. But according to analysis done by Remaking Debate (, unemployment among young black men with no high school diploma is 51.6 percent. Unemployment among all black men and women with no high school degree is 30 percent.

The Gang of 8 immigration reform proposal is a non-starter. We must reject any reform that doesn’t make our nation freer, fairer, and more secure.

Star Parker

Star Parker is founder and president of CURE, the Center for Urban Renewal and Education, a 501c3 think tank which explores and promotes market based public policy to fight poverty, as well as author of the newly revised Uncle Sam's Plantation: How Big Government Enslaves America's Poor and What We Can do About It.