Matthew Boyle, Breitbart, June 2, 2013
Several black leaders of various political persuasions have banded together to warn Congress of the harm they think the “Gang of Eight” immigration bill will inflict upon black workers if passed. The group, the Black American Leadership Alliance, wrote to members of the Gang of Eight, the Congressional Black Caucus, and members from states with the highest levels of black unemployment.
“Given the fact that more than 13% of all blacks are unemployed–nearly double that of the national average, it is our position that each Member of Congress must consider the disastrous effects that Senate Bill 744 would have on low skill workers of all races, while paying particular attention to the potential harm to African Americans,” the letter argues. “Credible research indicates that black workers will suffer the greatest harm if this legislation were to be passed. We are asking that you oppose Senate Bill S.744 because of the dramatic effect it will have on the availability of employment for African American workers.”
Perhaps more significant than the argument being made is the political diversity of the letter’s signers. These facts have been presented to members of Congress before by select members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, but those efforts did not result in changes to the immigration reform bill. Now, there are at least some black community leaders who represent the political left who have signed onto this argument–a new development that may help connect with Democrats in Congress.
T. Willard Fair, the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami, signed the letter. Though Fair is a Republican, President Obama appointed him in 2010 and 2011 to the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships-Miami Regional Selection Panel.
Former U.S. Department of Justice immigration attorney and current executive director of liberal group Progressives for Immigration Reform, Leah V. Durant, signed the letter as well. Frank Morris, PhD, a board member of Progressives for Immigration Reform and the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, put his signature on the letter as well.
Conservative signers include Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny (BOND) founder and president Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson and radio host and The Black Sphere executive director Kevin Jackson.
“Many studies have shown that black Americans are disproportionately harmed by mass immigration and amnesty,” they wrote. “Most policy makers who favor the legalization of nearly 11 million aliens fail to acknowledge that decades of high immigration levels has caused unemployment to rise significantly, most particularly among black Americans. They further fail to consider how current plans to add 33 million more legal workers within ten years will have an enormously disastrous effect on our nation’s jobs outlook.”