Mr. President: Americans Don't Need Good Vibes. We Need an America First Agenda | Opinion

On Tuesday, President Biden delivered his second State of the Union address. The speech was peppered by surprisingly agile ad libs about not sunsetting Social Security as well as calls for Democrats and Republicans to unite, especially around spurring economic growth and productivity through a new push for "made in America." The President noted—rightly—that a reinvigoration of U.S. manufacturing will inspire feelings of pride, hope, optimism, and collaboration across the aisle. Yet while his invitation for bipartisanship was music to my ears, I recognized the tone of sweet talk and low substance.

Mr. President, Americans don't need positive vibes; we need Americans First economic policies.

President Biden
U.S. President Joe Biden delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress as Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) listen on February 7, 2023 in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Jacquelyn Martin-Pool/Getty Images

The President is right that the strength of the union would be improved by substantive economic returns for the average Joe. Yet to achieve that, Americans need something the President has proven unable or unwilling to give us: a secure border and robust limits on legal immigration.

Americans need a native-born labor sourcing plan, not a promise of jobs we can see from our backyards but will never hold.

Biden celebrated the American people for our strength and resilience in his speech. Yet all too often, politicians champion how much adversity we can handle while continuing to divest from us.

Nothing about the SOTU address suggested that the Biden administration plans to retire its injurious immigration policies that rob Americans of sustainable economic gains.

For example, Biden applauded Intel's semiconductor facility, which promises to yield 10,000 temporary construction jobs and 3,000 permanent positions, many of which allegedly "don't require a college degree." Yet given our effectively open border, one might reasonably wonder, while those jobs may be in the United States, what percentage of them will go to American citizens? After all, Intel has consistently been in the top 10 companies to use  H-1B  and OPT visas to hire foreign students from India and China.

Add to that the fact that President Biden plans to admit 30,000 aliens per month, then add the competition from nearly 3,000 gotaways at our southern border per day. The math is stacked against American citizens.

Of course, there's nothing new here. The U.S. has wasted two generations offshoring American jobs and importing foreign workers. It is mismanagement in the extreme, given that over 30 percent of working age Americans are counted as "not participating in the labor force," yet these citizens are not represented in the official unemployment rate of 3.4 percent.

Every employment opportunity that goes to a foreign worker instead of an American citizen is the responsibility of the employers who exploit immigration laws—but even moreso, the elected officials who allow it.

And both political parties are breaking the backs of American citizens. American wages are suppressed by liberals who erase U.S. borders and the free market Republicans who help them.

Can President Biden and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy fix it?

That's the wrong question. The right question is, do they want to?

An America First economic policy should not be a partisan issue. If elected officials aren't working together to ensure national security and economic prosperity for American households, what good are they to us?

Biden highlighted his 50-year career in D.C., yet he doesn't have sufficient political capital to negotiate anything more than a warmed-over version of Obama's hope narrative. To that I say no, thanks.

The call to action is secure the border, slash legal immigration, and get to work designing and implementing a native-born labor sourcing plan and internal talent management strategy across industries.

Politicians can shove their poetry about hopes and dreams. It's time to show me the money.

Pamela Denise Long is CEO of Youthcentrix® Therapy Services, a business focused on helping organizations implement trauma-informed practices and diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism (DEIA) at the systems level. Connect with Ms. Long online at or @PDeniseLong on social media.

The views expressed in this article are the writer's own.