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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie

    ACORN’s former chief calls for more immigration to boost black power


    ACORN’s former chief calls for more immigration to boost black power


    Neil Munro
    White House Correspondent

    ACORN’s former CEO Bertha Lewis urged Africans-Americans to support increased immigration as a strategy to gain political power.

    “We got some Latino cousins, we got some Asian cousins, we got some Native-American cousins, we got all kind of cousins,” said Lewis, who spoke Thursday at the annual political conference of the Congressional Black Caucus.

    “Cousins need to get together because if we’re going to be [part of the non-white] majority, it makes sense for black people in this country to get down with immigration reform,” said Lewis, whose ACORN group was formally disbanded in 2010 after a series of scandals.

    Lewis did not mention solidarity with whites, or with people who define themselves as Americans, in her appeal for power.

    “Everyone, even all white folks in this country, acknowledge that in a minute, [the] United States of America will be a new majority, will be majority minority, a brand-new thing,” she said.

    In 2012, “for the first time ever in history, African-Americans outvoted white Americans.

    Oooh. That’s the fear of the white man. That could change everything. That’s why [immigration] should matter to us,” she declared.

    Lewis got only modest applause from the room of 300 attendees, nearly all of whom were black.

    But her appeal for non-white solidarity was backed up by New York Democratic Rep. Yvette Clarke.

    “What will happen with comprehensive immigration reform will be a new landscape of humanity in the United States of America,” Clarke told the attendees.

    “America is a shape-shifter, and based on who’s here, in what numbers and at what time, determines the political outcomes,” she said. Blacks should cooperate with Latinos, she said, adding “we all have skin in the game, literally.

    The racial appeal was echoed by William Spriggs, chief economist at the AFL-CIO. “If we are going to be the new majority, we’re going to have to start acting like the new majority and start setting the new rules,” he said.

    Once Congress approves an immigration increase, minorities should demand more, said Chicago Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, a leading advocate of the pending Senate bill,
    “The next day after we pass it, you know we’re not going to be satisfied, we’re going to come back,” he said. “We’re going to have a civil rights act, we’re going to have a voting rights act… Nobody is leaving this fight once we conclude this first chapter,” he said.

    “Hopefully, in 30 years, [we] can bring immigrants… from all over the world,” Gutierrez said.

    The call for solidarity among non-whites was commingled with some non-racial calls for solidarity of working-class Americans.

    African-Americans should not object to gains by immigrants, said Spriggs, who became a union economist after leaving an assistant secretary job at the Obama Department of Labor.

    “Somebody else winning doesn’t mean you’re losing,” the economist explained. “We can’t let one set of workers be pushed aside and think we’re going to make it.”

    Other attendees complained about immigrants’ refusal to hire African-Americans or to accept civil-rights laws, and the commonplace stealing of Social Security Numbers.
    Currently, the formal unemployment rate among African-Americans is 13 percent.

    However, the formal number understates the level of unemployment. For example, fewer than half of black men aged between 18 and 30 have full-time jobs.

    Last June, President Barack Obama bypassed Congress’ opposition to an amnesty for younger illegal immigrants, and has awarded work-permits to almost 500,000 young illegal immigrants.

    This July, with support from Obama, the Senate passed an immigration bill that would provide work permits to roughly 33 million immigrants and create a pool of roughly 2 million blue-collar and university-trained guest-workers, over the next decade.
    Advocates say increased immigration will spur the economy and fund a bigger government.

    But studies of increased immigration suggest the economic gains will go to immigrants and company owners. Some attendees said the caucus should focus more clearly on issues of concern to black Americans.

    “We are the last hired and have the last opportunities, yet amnesty supporters would have you think that adding millions more workers at this time is good,” said Leah Durant, founder of the Black American Leadership Alliance. ”When so many Americans of all races are out of work, that is ridiculous,” Durant told TheDaily Caller.

    “Blacks as well as other low-skilled workers have made their greatest advances when we have low levels of immigration,” she said. “It is time for black leaders to stand up for blacks.”

    A June poll by NumbersUSA, a group which want to shrink immigration, reported that only 15 percent of blacks and 44 percent of Hispanics back the Senate bill’s offer of amnesty to 11 million illegal-immigrants. A July poll conducted for advocates of increased immigration reported that 59 percent of registered Latino voters support a goal of “stopping 90 percent of the undocumented immigration in the future.”

    Yet most members of the Congressional Black Caucus have agreed to back the Senate immigration bill.

    ACORN’s Lewis mocked the mainstream concerns.

    “You had some black folks talk about ‘Those people took my job… [and] I used to be in a big house, but now I ain’t,’” she sneered. Those complaints were “madness,” said Lewis, who works as a political activist with other pro-immigration activists, donors and foundations.

    In response, Durant condemned black leaders’ rush for increased immigration, saying “They see political advantage in it for themselves, and they’re selling out the blank community.”

    Gutierrez urged African-American and Latino legislators to hide their disagreements from the public.

    “We have tough conversations when we lock the room — but we are smart enough to lock the room,” he told the audience. “We keep our arguments to ourselves.”

    Last edited by Newmexican; 09-22-2013 at 08:39 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Black Caucus to join push for amnesty, immigration


    Neil Munro
    White House Correspondent

    The Congressional Black Caucus is going to join the push for more low-wage immigration, reversing its stance in 2006 and 2007, when it avoided the controversy.

    “Immigration reform will be one of our top three priorities this year,” Ayofemi Kirby, the caucus’ communications director, told The Daily Caller on Wednesday.

    The caucus is also trying to protect the “Diversity Visa” program from the GOP’s efforts to zero it, she said. Elimination of the program “would lower the number of [black] immigrants from countries who already have low number of immigrants … [in the United States], especially sub-Sahara and Africa” and Caribbean countries.

    “That’s a huge issue for us,” she added, noting that the new policy will be detailed next week.

    The caucus will also “be looking at [immigration’s] impact on low-income communities,” she said.

    Immigration is a very contentious issue in African-American communities, partly because many African-Americans view immigrant Latinos as competition for low-skill jobs, apartments and government grants.

    The formal unemployment rate for African-Americans is 14 percent. In practice, the underemployment and unemployment rates are far higher. For example, only about half of young African-American men have full-time jobs. (RELATED: Federal data show troubling unemployment trends)

    African-Americans’ incomes have also fallen dramatically because of the recession, and many African-American neighborhoods and savings have been damaged by a wave of bankruptcies following the 2007 bursting of the post-1996 real-estate bubble.

    That economic pressure is acknowledged by African-American advocacy groups that are reluctant to criticize President Barack Obama and other progressive Democrats.

    “The country’s back to pretty much where it was when this president started [in 2009]. … White people in this country are doing a bit better [and] black people are doing far worse,” Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP, told NBC on Jan. 27.

    The competition for jobs is highlighted in D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and other major cities, where small-scale employers tend to hire workforces that are overwhelmingly Latino or African-American.

    However, the widespread and often bitter opposition to immigration is partially muted by many African-Americans’ empathy for Latinos, whose circumstances are often similar to those of blacks.

    But African-American politicians and advocates are under intense pressure to keep good relations with influential Hispanic and Asian lobbies, as well as progressive groups, both of which strongly support an immigration rewrite and a conditional-amnesty.

    On Capital Hill, the CBC’s leadership are part of the so-called Tricaucus of African-American, Hispanic and Asian caucuses.

    But African-American politicians are also under pressure to cooperate with Hispanic lobbies, because some of their districts are increasingly Latino, rather than African-American.
    In July 2012, for example, Democratic Rep. Charles Rangel narrowly defeated a primary challenge from an ambitious Latino politician, New York state Senator Adriano Espaillat.Rangel is one of the most senior Democratic politicians in the House.

    On Jan. 28, Rangel announced he would push for a major immigration rewrite this year, and a conditional amnesty for illegal immigrants.
    “As a proud representative of a congressional district that is home to a huge immigrant population, I have been a longtime advocate for immigration reform … I am committed to supporting the President as he pushes to make the American Dream a reality for everyone in America,” he said in a statement.
    The attempted 2006 and 2007 rewrites were backed by Reps. John Conyers and Sheila Jackson-Lee.
    Conyer’s district in Michigan includes a growing Muslim population, and Jackson-Lee’s Texas district includes many Hispanics.

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