One of the sleeper issues surrounding the debate on amnesty for illegal immigrants – an inconvenient one that no proponent of a widespread amnesty wishes to acknowledge – is the devastating effect so-called immigration reform will have on African Americans.
The black unemployment rate is almost 11 percent, far higher than that of any other group profiled by labor statistics. African Americans are disproportionately employed in lower-skilled jobs – the very same jobs immigrants take. As Steven Camarota asked in a recent column, why double immigration when so many people already aren’t working?
The issue resurfaced this week when a YouTube video emerged of two young African-Americans confronting pro-illegal-immigration demonstrators in Murrieta, California. Murrieta is one of the towns in which undocumented minors are being relocated — and supporters are squaring off with protestors.
The young man argues:
If somebody brought six children to your house and you ain’t got no job, are you gonna take them in?… What are you gonna do? Are you gonna try to go out there and take care of these children AND the children you got already that you can’t take care of?… What are we going to do for the people who are here who are starving already?… We got our OWN people that are starving and hungry…. Why would we add to the problem?!
He also laments the problems in black neighborhoods where prices “are upped on everything” after large groups of immigrants move in.
The young woman argues:
It’s just too much…. We already have our own poor people. Starvation, kids walking with no shoes…. We don’t need other people’s kids to bring more problems…. You’re gonna watch America go spiraling down… We’re already in debt as it is. [Now] we’re gonna need more money to support these kids.
Why are Democratic politicians disregarding the concerns and needs of black Americans in a push to address the concerns and needs… of foreigners? Amnesty proponents speak of the need to grant others a better life – but what of the need to look out for our fellow Americans? What of those black Americans whose ancestors quite literally built this nation through the sweat of their brows?
Instead, Democrats are chucking aside black voters in their rush to lock in the Latino vote (or so they’re hoping). Taken for granted as a given come election-time, blacks are now actively harmed as the Democrats vow to grow their voting base through importing more and more of what they see as future blue-voters. It’s the husband who leaves his wife of 30 years: ‘We had a good run, honey, but I’ve found someone new.’
Black attorney and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Peter Kirsanow, serves as one of the lone voices of reason, repeatedly outlining the harm amnesty will cause black Americans. In a 2013 letter to the Congressional Black Caucus, he wrote: “The obvious question is whether there are sufficient jobs in the low-skilled labor market for both African-Americans and illegal immigrants. The answer is no.” Kirsanow’s statistics demonstrate the way in which immigration impacts the wages and employment opportunities of black males and hurts the black community.
But no one seems to listen to Kirsanow.
Meanwhile, the harm to African Americans is not limited to reduced wages, greater competition for jobs, and declining household incomes – now even the black history of suffering is being diluted. Liberal columnist and CNN pundit Sally Kohn penned a column last week arguing that the term ‘illegal immigrant’ is the same as the N-word. Kohn, is usually fair-minded and reasoned in her arguments, lumping black Americans’ unique history and suffering with that of certain Latino immigrants is absurd and offensive. Consider that the N-word was used to describe a person who was whipped daily, while ‘illegal immigrant’ is a word used to describe a person who receives free education (even in-state tuition!), housing, driver’s licenses, legal aid, food, and healthcare. To even claim the two words are similar is an unthinkable affront – and insult – to African-Americans.
Senator Jeff Sessions’s recent National Review column “On Immigration, It’s Time to Defend Americans,” hits the nail on the head. Sessions notes:
Harvard professor George Borjas estimated that high immigration rates from 1980 to 2000 resulted in a 7.4 percent wage reduction for lower-skilled American workers…. The Center for Immigration Studies issued a study based on Census data showing that “since 2000 all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants.”… If mass immigration is so good for the economy, why then — during this long sustained period of record immigration into the U.S. — are incomes falling and a record number of Americans not working?
Birthright citizenship is already bad enough; largely refusing to deport illegal immigrants is already bad enough.But now, we’ve upped the ante even further. Overburdened taxpayers, including black taxpayers, are covering the cost to feed, clothe and educate illegals, and black Americans face the additional burden of having their historic suffering belittled and their precarious circumstances made even worse.
Democrats have built a brand as the party willing to stand up for black Americans, but the amnesty push shows what a false promise that was. The message to black voters is: “Yes, your ancestors endured unimaginable hardships and helped build this country, and we said we’d help you out. But now we have a new trophy wife.”
— A. J. Delgado is a conservative writer and lawyer. She writes about politics and culture.