Bannon said: “With President Trump, like for instance, they continue to call him a racist all the time but his economic policies, particularly in regards to immigration is to make sure that African Americans and Hispanic low-skilled workers are not – we don’t have the zone flooded with more labour.
“That’s the only way you’re going to get wages up. You’re not going to do this through a minimum wage of $15 (£12). The way you’re going to do it is by limiting the labour pool to build a robust economy."
President Trump’s policies are directed I think to help not just all people but particularly the working classes in this country.
At this point Owens interjected with her enthusiastic support: “One hundred per cent,” she began.
And that’s the information that I try to get out. I’m like, ‘You want to know why I’m pro-wall. Because to not have a wall is racist.”
“If you want to talk about – actually in 2008 it was the – uh – they commissioned a report, the United States Commission on Civil Rights did a report and it was on illegal immigration and they determined that the number one class of people that are impacted by immigration is Black Americans between the ages of 18 and 21 because they are competing with them for the low wage, low skilled workers.”
She concluded: “Every black American should be pro-wall.”
Her comments were criticised by some Twitter users online
Others thought that to suggest African Americans were low-skilled workers was patronising
Owens later tweeted that “intellectually sparring with Steve Bannon was an honor” and that he said she reminded him of Conservative author Andrew Breitbart, founder of far-right news network Breitbart News.
Something to note...
It must be noted that in the 2008 report she cites, the expert panellists “disagreed as to the magnitude of [the effect of illegal immigration on low-skilled black labour], which ranged from very small to substantial” and three of them, who were economists argued that immigration, both legal and illegal, has “economically benefited the United States on a national basis in the form of lower prices to consumers and increased economic investment in the country.”
Professor of Labour Economics at Cornell University Vernon M Briggs contributed to the report as well and argued that “it is not everywhere that there is likely to be significant competition between low skilled black workers and illegal immigrant workers, [though] there are amply circumstances where there is."
And the professor prefaced his argument by talking about the contextual importance of the country's history of slavery and black disenfranchisement.
Immigration has served largely to marginalise the imperative to address squarely and affirmatively the legacy of the denial of equal economic opportunity that had resulted from the previous centuries of slavery and segregation, which the civil rights movement and legislation of the 1960s sought to redress.