Monday, July 31, 2006

Bush, African-Americans, and Immigration Reform

Bush, African-Americans, and Immigration Reform

May 15th, 2006

AfricanAmericanPoliticalPundit.com says: African-Americans have suffered as a result of immigration.OK, now Bush prepares to address the nation tonight about immigration. Don’t believe the hype! of course Carl Rove Praised Bush’s Border Control Policy and defended proposal to send thousands of National Guard troops to help seal the U.S.-Mexican border against illegal immigrants. Guess what? That’s what he is paid to do as Advisor to the President. Recommend and support decisions the President makes, Right? Of course! But it appears that Americans and Mexico are Wary of Border Plan.What’s really interesting is a number of Mexican, immigrant, church, and other faith based groups who previously supported Bush are now speaking against him. As Darryl Fears of the Washington Post points out in his article, Immigrant Supporters to Counter Bush Speech, New Alliance Ready To Make Itself Heard, these groups are “consolidating its forces so that it can respond to the government with a unified voice.” The Washington Post also reports “The We Are America Alliance of 41 immigrant resource groups, unions, churches, day laborers and Spanish-language disc jockeys opposes House legislation that would criminalize illegal immigrants, but it will lobby Congress and compromise to realize its goal of obtaining legal residency for many of the 11 million people who live in the shadows.” OK, now Bush is Set to Send in Guard to place National Guard troops on the Mexican border (go figure). Could Bush be doing this because of polls like a Newsweek poll last week of 1,007 adults nationwide, 61 percent disapproved of the way President Bush is handling immigration, reflecting the findings of a CBS News/New York Times poll from the previous week, in which 58 percent of the respondents disapproved of how the administration is dealing with the issue? The Question for the nation is whether placing National Guard troops on the Mexican border addresses real immigration issues? There are other questions as well.

Brian DeBose pointed out in his recent Washington Times article, Blacks slam immigration bias “Black leaders say Mexicans and other Hispanic nationals are getting preferential immigration treatment, as the U.S. systematically turns away people from countries with largely African-descended populations, such as Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.” Yes, Its true, the fact of the matter is Mexicans and other Hispanic nationals have been getting preferential immigration treatment, for a long time. And we as African-Americans should ask that question to our elected representatives, and vote against those who would allow our government to systematically turn away people from countries with largely African-descended populations such as Haiti, Jamaica and the
Dominican Republic. I’m in agreement with African-Americans who say the country can’t have an honest immigration reform debate without discussing how much people are being paid and why only certain nationalities are allowed to come into the country illegally and work off the books. Economic Issues Historically; African-Americans have suffered as a result of immigration. As Reported in Issues and Views: “One of the cruelest effects of high-level immigration to the U.S. is its worsening of the plight of black Americans. Historically, blacks have suffered as a result of immigration. In the first half of the 1800s, immigration blocked blacks from economic mobility opportunities. Frederick Douglass was moved to say, “The old employments by which we have heretofore gained our livelihood, are gradually, and it may seem inevitably, passing into other hands. Every hour sees the black man elbowed out of employment by some newly arrived immigrant whose hunger and whose color are thought to give him a better title to the place. During the post-Civil War industrial expansion, blacks lost out even for entry level positions when business owners preferred to hire white immigrants, who were then brought in en masse. The situation today is similar. During the Civil Rights era of the 1950s and 1960s, which was to have “freed” black Americans socially and economically, Congress also changed immigration law to pave the way for close to a million immigrants a year–many of who compete with blacks for entry level positions. According to recent studies, immigrants displace a disproportionate number of black workers and lower their wages. For example, a GAO study found that a decade of heavy immigration to Los Angeles had changed the janitorial industry from a mostly native black, unionized workforce to one of non-unionized Latinos, many of whom were illegal aliens. According to the Census, the employment of black Americans as hotel workers in California dropped 30 percent in the 1980s, while the number of immigrants with such jobs rose 166 percent. A similar story can be told of the garment industry, the restaurant business, hospital work, and public service jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found in a recent study that immigration accounts for about 50 percent of the decline in real wages for the lowest-skilled American workers, many of whom are blacks.” For this African-American Political Pundit and Blogger, African-Americans should “bottom-line the immigration issue.” We should take into consideration historically; African-Americans have suffered as a result of immigration. We should also take a hard look at the Bush’s proposed guest worker program and the political consequences of amnesty. An increased voting block of approximately 10-12 million illegal aliens who are made U.S. citizens with all citizen rights, including voting rights, will significantly diminish the African-American vote.

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