Monday, May 21, 2007

Proposed Immigration Bill & The Black Community

For my first entry, I would like to bring up a topic of intense interest: The New Immigration bill.

UPDATE: Hear an interview with T. Willard Fair, head of the Miami Urban League.

My main concern with the bill is how it will affect the Black community.

As for Black 'leadership', the only one seeming to ask this question is the head of the Urban League of Miami, T. Willard Fair. (Miami black leader makes anti-immigrant plea)

In these articles, Mr. Fair expresses concern as to what unfettered amnesty for 12 million illegal aliens will do to the Black community. He doesn't think it's going to be a positive, and neither do I.

I never thought I'd have what would be a 'Black Nationalist' position on anything. I've always been a more conciliatory, middle of the road, kind of person. But, for me, illegal immigration, and the negative impact on the Black community was so obvious, it was a 'gimme'. I thought I would find comrades-in-arms in the usual places for support of my position.

How illegal immigration was a detriment to the low end of the economic scale for the Black community; how it undermines Black political clout; how public services, which didn't fully serve the community in the first place, are even further strained because of the use of them by illegal aliens. I thought all of this was obvious as to how this was a detriment to the Black community.
Boy, was I surprised. I found more of the ' kumbaya, we're all in it together, Black and Brown alliance' nonsense.

Why is it nonsense to me?

While, this pie in the sky of 'minority unity', might be an admirable goal, it's quite an impractical reality.

One, because an alliance implies, IMO, that BOTH sides are benefitting from said alliance. And, I have yet, had an answer from the Kumbaya crowd about this question:

" What are the benefits FOR the Black community FROM illegal immigration?"

How does this help us? I just want to know. And, if 'we', as a community, are entered into an alliance, I would like to know what have WE gotten from said alliance?

You can talk to me six ways from Sunday about corporate power, and how it's just a 'plan' from the corporations to flood the country with cheap labor, and I won't disagree with you. I will completely agree with you about this.

My position is, so what? What does this have to do with allowing an entire criminal class of people to come into this country, flood our cities with uneducated workers, thus lowering the prospects of AMERICAN BORN CITIZENS at the lower end of the economic scale. America already has too many poor people - why would we be opening the floodgates for millions more of uneducated poor to come into this country, straining the public resources even further.

I ask again, if we are in an alliance, what does the Black community receive from it?

Where has there been an issue of concern with regards to the Black community, that the Hispanic community has stood by our side fighting for it? Putting their necks on the line for it?

If this is about immigration, where's the outrage about the treatment of refugees from Haiti?

If this is about 'hard working people who just want to participate in the American Dream', then how about the Hispanic solidarity in the fight to restore voting rights to ex-felons?

If this is about exploitation, then where are the Hispanic voices in fighting the viciousness of the Prison Industrial Complex, and what it's done to the Black community?

If this is about having the opportunity for economic participation in the American community, then as the Hispanic community pushes for CREDIT CARDS, BANK ACCOUNTS, and MORTGAGES for illegals, why are they SILENT on the economic redlining of the Black community, especially those at the bottom end of the scale? What Black person, in America, could go into a BANK and get an account, let alone a credit card or mortgage, without a social security number? If you've seen it happen, please leave a note below.

While they expect support for statehood for Puerto Rico, where is their defense of voting rights for the citizens of Washington, D.C.?

Do I even need to bring up the marginalization of Black men in construction trades, when they were JUST beginning to get a foothold in them because of the Civil Rights Movement?

An alliance would be TWO sides talking about these issues, with regards to the Black community. From where I sit, only ONE side has been talking about this issue, and it's not the Hispanic side.

HOW does one have an alliance, when only ONE side is supporting another?
Of course, it says a lot about our so-called 'leadership' that they continue with this fool-hearty practice, receiving NOTHING in return for the Black community.

And, who is this community, that we've entered into this ' alliance' with, exactly? How do they feel about Black people? These are touchy subjects to ask, but I do think they're worth asking, since our so-called 'leaders' have entered into these 'alliances'. Look at the major Hispanic television outlets. Watching them, would you believe that any slave ships made it past the Carribbean? Would you ever believe that there were at least 100 million people of African origin in South America? Not from what's on their tv screens. If you find anyone darker than the paperbag, it's a miracle, but not really, because they're usually playing someone subservient on their programs. When they get to this country, what are their opinions of the Black community that has entered into an ' alliance' with them? Well, according to this study (Latino Immigrants Come to the U.S. with Negative Stereotypes of Black Americans), they come here already racist against us. What? You mean that we've entered into an ' alliance' with folk who COME HERE racist against us? Who, according to this study, "identify more with whites than blacks". Who would be insane enough to alliance themselves like that, with a group that comes here ready to sell you out at a moment's notice?

Our so-called leaders.

Black folk are getting pimped and played; our fights and hard work being hustled by others for THEIR own purposes; our good nature being taken advantage of, all the while we receive NOTHING of substance in return for our support of others.

There are plenty of reasons to object to this so-called ' Comprehensive' Immigration Farce. How it would negatively affect the Black community is only one reason. Other reasons will follow.

9 comments:

Christopher Chambers said...

I concur wholeheartedly. I made similiar posts on my own blog. Did you see "Gangs of New York?"

The Angry Independent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Angry Independent said...

It's getting hot in the Kitchen.

*turns on some AC*

I agree with you regarding illegal immigration. But it seems as though you might be against more than just illegal immigration... I can't go quite that far. Would you support a reformed system of legal immigration and/or a guest worker program of some kind?

And let's not forget that the immigration reform will not affect just immigrants from Mexico or Central America. There are hundreds of thousands of immigrants who enter this country from all over the world each year to stay here for an extended period, though most enter under legal status.

Regarding an alliance... I don't think there is any large scale alliance across the board, and never has been. There are clear differences in culture and in political interests between African Americans and Hispanics that complicates such an alliance. In Florida for example, many of the Cubans vote Republican simply because of the Bush administrations harsh stance against Castro.... not really caring about the collateral damage that such a vote brings on the rest of us. They could have made a huge difference in two election cycles already. I'm still a little upset about their support for Republicans in Florida and their impact on National elections.

But there are certain things that we do have in common and should work on together.

We also have to be careful to not lump Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Mexicans and Central Americans, and South American folks all in the same group. Within Latin America there are several groups with divergent interests.

How have African Americans benefited from the limited alliance that does exist? I can't really say with any certainty.... I don't think anyone can. But I will agree that there does not seem to be any mutual benefit. You mentioned Haitian Immigrants and other issues... I have not seen a lot of support from the Hispanic community on some of the recent events highlighted by African Americans. In fact, in some areas of the country, the Hispanic community and the so-called African American community have been at odds (such as L.A.), which is unfortunate for both sides. I think if both communities put more effort into working together, they could be quite a powerful political and economic force.

Latinos possibly feel that since they are the largest minority group now...that they don't need the help from other groups and therefore don't feel obligated to give much support.

But I also think you have to be careful about suggesting that there is no cooperation between the two at all.... there are a lot of prominent Hispanic social activists and political figures who are working hard for the interests of both communities and for the working poor.

You mention a report regarding the negative perceptions that Hispanics have of African Americans. I would counter by saying that this is largely the fault of the African American community. African Americans have allowed negative Hip Hop culture to be our face to the world. This perception issue lies at the heart of my rage against the degenerate Rap Culture that has been like a Cancer for "Black America". This is why we need to work hard to improve the image of (or better yet eradicate all together) the negative aspects of the Rap culture. Rap has become so large that it has co-opted Black culture and has become the face of African Americans throughout the world.

But neither side benefits from any new hostility in my opinion... It's a lose-lose situation if we go that route.
In many ways our histories overlap... you mentioned the Black population in South America... So in some ways... depending on the Hispanic group you are looking at, there are many things in common.

I also think we have to be careful about suggesting that all of the immigrants are poor & uneducated, although a lot of them may be. Just as we don't like to be stereotyped, we shouldn't do the same thing. That's like saying all of the African American Katrina victims were poor and uneducated. We know that's not true.

Many of these folks have developed a huge reputation for being extremely hard workers...which is one of the reasons they are preferred by employers. Not to say that Americans could not be hard working... I am just pointing out that many Latino immigrants are. And of course this is not the only reason why employers prefer them. The other reasons include avoiding workers compensation issues, no need for HR processing when you can pay them in cash, no insurance to pay for, you can pay low wages (lower than minimum wage and get away with it), if one gets hurt on the job...you can just replace him/her, no labor laws to deal with so you can work them like a slave...no overtime pay. etc. It's good for the bottom line which is what the Business owners love.

With that said, I think you have to put more focus on the business owners who are attracting & exploiting illegal immigrants. If there were no jobs to be had...if employers actually followed the law by not hiring illegal immigrants, the immigration problem would not be nearly as bad.

You have to also lay blame at the doorstep of the White House for not going after employers aggressively enough.

I am strongly against illegal immigration, but at the same time, I can't put all of the fault on men and women trying to feed their families.

If the tables were turned, and Mexico was the economic powerhouse in the World & the U.S. was a poor country that could not supply enough decent jobs....& if there were countless employers in Mexico willing to hire us, then Americans would be doing the same thing to find work.

You make some interesting points though...particularly about reciprocity of support or the lack thereof. As you know from your M.B.A. training... strategic partnerships are set up for mutual benefit. Once there is no mutual benefit, it's not really an alliance or strategic partnership... which is why I say there has never really been that kind of relationship in this country between these two ethnic groups....not on such a large scale. Although there have been individual situations where the two have worked together and hopefully will continue to work together in the future.

I like my Latino Brothers/Sisters. I like all races, cultures or ethnic groups... I'm not a Black Nationalists in that sense. I support anyone who shares similar goals & visions for the future in this country....white, Black, red, yellow or green.

What are your thoughts on the Immigration Bill overall? You mentioned something about amnesty.

I personally would not call it that... because other options are simply not practical or enforceable. What other alternatives to the plan would you suggest?

Welcome to the blog team....

You now have a platform for sharing your passion for politics as a blogger...and not just in comments. :)

Congressional Black Caucus said...

Immigration reform goals for the CBC


The members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) recognize the need for a comprehensive approach to immigration reform that includes increased security, protection against illegal immigration, immigration policies that have articulated objectives and fair administration of our immigration system. Consistent with this, the CBC adopts the following Statement of Principles.

DIVERSITY AND EQUAL TREATMENT
The CBC supports immigration criteria that will increase the diversity of immigration from countries that have historically been underrepresented, such as countries in the Caribbean and Africa, or treated unequally, such as Haiti.

EARNED ACCESS TO CITIZENSHIP
The CBC supports earned access to lawful permanent resident status for persons currently in the United States that takes the following factors into account:

Unification of immigrant families, which would include uniting immigrants with spouses, children or other close family members who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States;
Proven employment records through temporary and guest worker programs or other temporary residence programs; and
Such reform of earned access to citizenship should also include a path to permanency for the undocumented already here.
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND FAIR WAGES FOR LEGAL WORKERS
The CBC believes that all citizens and legal workers in the United States should be assured education and job training, non-discriminatory employment opportunity and livable wage. The CBC, therefore, supports increased funding for education and job training utilizing fees generated from new immigration provisions and other resources and supports increased funding for enforcement of laws against employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, unfair labor practices and illegal hiring. The CBC also supports holding employers accountable for the legal status of their employees.

BORDER SECURITY
The CBC believes that the federal government has the responsibility to protect, through border security and other means, against immigrants illegally entering the country and/or overstaying their authorized periods of admission. The CBC, therefore, supports funding for border security equipment, border patrol agents, enforcement and other resources as reasonably necessary to accomplish those objectives.

rikyrah said...

DIVERSITY AND EQUAL TREATMENT
The CBC supports immigration criteria that will increase the diversity of immigration from countries that have historically been underrepresented, such as countries in the Caribbean and Africa, or treated unequally, such as Haiti.


Ok, but what have they proposed? Have they gotten any of our ' alliance' buddies to step up to the plate for the immigrants of Haiti, Africa and the Carribbean? Or, have our 'alliance' buddies been silent, but the CBC is willing to give THEIR votes for them?


EARNED ACCESS TO CITIZENSHIP
The CBC supports earned access to lawful permanent resident status for persons currently in the United States that takes the following factors into account:

Unification of immigrant families, which would include uniting immigrants with spouses, children or other close family members who are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States;

Ah, there we have the sticking point - CLOSE FAMILY MEMBERS.
Am I the only one who sees that this is the way to add 5-10 folks to the 'family'. Family reunification is just a way to overrun the country.

Proven employment records through temporary and guest worker programs or other temporary residence programs; and

Employment records using STOLEN IDENTITIES from American citizens? This is FRAUD...and what I'd like to know is why is ANYONE arrested for identity theft in this country, since you're about to let millions who have stolen identities off scott free.

Such reform of earned access to citizenship should also include a path to permanency for the undocumented already here.

Um, NO. They broke the law to be here...WHY SHOULD THEY BE REWARDED?


ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND FAIR WAGES FOR LEGAL WORKERS
The CBC believes that all citizens and legal workers in the United States should be assured education and job training, non-discriminatory employment opportunity and livable wage. The CBC, therefore, supports increased funding for education and job training utilizing fees generated from new immigration provisions and other resources and supports increased funding for enforcement of laws against employment discrimination, wage and hour violations, unfair labor practices and illegal hiring. The CBC also supports holding employers accountable for the legal status of their employees.


Hmmmm...nothing about confronting the cannibalization of wages for the lower end of the economic spectrum by the illegals here. I wonder why that is?


BORDER SECURITY
The CBC believes that the federal government has the responsibility to protect, through border security and other means, against immigrants illegally entering the country and/or overstaying their authorized periods of admission. The CBC, therefore, supports funding for border security equipment, border patrol agents, enforcement and other resources as reasonably necessary to accomplish those objectives.


Is this the same CBC, whose member Bennie Thompson-MS, REFUSES TO FUND THE MONEY FOR THE ALLOTTED BORDER FENCE? Is THAT the border security the CBC is talking about? The SAME CBC who has now, NOT extended, but CUT the requested Border Fence...IN HALF?

Puleeze.

Generalized mumbo jumbo, when the post was asking WHY the CBC has been SILENT on the EFFECTS of illegal immigration upon the Black Community.

I'll ask the question again:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR THE BLACK COMMUNITY FROM ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION?

rikyrah said...

Impact of Low-Skill Immigrants on Low-Skill Blacks

Anonymous said...

Dr. Claud Anderson on the "New Immigration Bill"

Thanks for your concern about the impact that the new immigration bill (citizenship for 12 to 20 million NON-CITIZENS, with the legal right to bring in another 30 to 25 million as their children, spouses, and parents INTO THE UNITED STATES)
This bill is the tombstone over native Black Americans. They are going to out-number Blacks by 3 to 1 within 15 years, replace 25 percent of all Black elected officials after the 2010 census, take over education programs, replace Black teachers & Black administrators who cannot speak Spanish, replace Blacks in the construction industry as well as all service (restaurant, hotel and janitorial, etc,) industries, finish supplanting Blacks in affirmative action programs, reduce the earning capacity of Blacks by 10 percent between 1970 and 1990.


I could go on, but it is an absolutely waste of time to continue warning Black Americans of approaching dangers. I have never seen a race that is so totally devoid of leadership. Worse, that is stuck on hanging themselves on a cross to save all Arabs, Hispanics, Asians, handicapped, midgets, gays, lesbians, poor people, people of color, oppressed people, exploited people, down trodden and homeless, abused women, animals, and insects. It is criminally insanity for Black people, the poorest, most excluded, and powerless people in this nation, to devote all of their time, energy, money and limited political capital trying to save mankind when they cannot save their own foolish butts.


Many go to church every Sunday and still don't know that Jesus Christ came to this earth and was hung on a cross to save mankind. God does need Black people to see what his Son has already done. God!! Please help Black people because these immigrants are going to eat their butts alive without any salt or pepper. Some times, one cannot help but wonder why God would put so many dumb asses in the same race. Clearly one cannot question the wisdom of God!!!

Tiffany said...

I would counter by saying that this is largely the fault of the African American community. African Americans have allowed negative Hip Hop culture to be our face to the world.

*Sigh.* Once again we blame hip-hop for a phenomenon that is CENTURIES old. Latin Americans are racist for the same reason Americans are: a belief in European superiority that was used as justification to subjugate, exploit, and annihilate aboriginal Americans (Native Americans / Indians, if those terms are more familiar to you), and later Africans, to generate corporate profits.

And in much of Latin America, you're seeing hip-hop being embraced by black and aboriginal people as a way to resist cultural racism, discrimination, and resulting poverty.

It continues to amaze me how middle-class black folks continue to point the finger at poor people and poor people's music as the reason for why black people are effed up. The problem is much larger than whatever B.S. Lil' Jon an'nem are poppin this week.

Anonymous said...

I am both amazed and relieved that there are others in the black community who see not only illegal immigration as a threat, but also how this people view us.


I am a veteran of the Marine Corps and left after nine years of honorable service to this country. During this period I was stationed in California and this is where I met my wife of 7 years who is Mexican-American. There were times we would go to certain places where there was a high number of hispanics and illegal immigrants ( the only reason I can say this is because my wife could point them out like vampires in a crowded room full of ordinary humans ). Anyway, we used to get these "looks" from them as if we were from outer space or something.
I would think to myself " who are these people to look it my wife and I as if we were some exhibit at a carnival freak show? How dare they, who don't belong here in the first place and have only begun to sacrifice for this country, look at me with contempt after everything myself and my ancestors have sacrificed for this country? My in-laws even acknowledge that there is a high level of racism towards black people amongst the mexican-immigrant population here.

I went to link provided and read the article regarding the study conduct in Durham. This only reinforces the beliefs I had on the subject before reading the article.

I do not support any form of amnesty what-so-ever and if it were up to me I would have every last one of them deported ASAP. Before anyone out there accuses me of being a racist or anti-immigrant please understand that


(1) This is not fair to other legal and potential immigrants. I have friends from Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Morrocco, Nigeria, England, and the Ukraine and they all had to go through the proper channels. They could not just conveniently "climb a fence or hide in a truck" to get here. During my last and most recent deployment to Iraq, I met scores of Iraqi men who would love to live the " American Dream" and want both a better life and increased oppurtunity for they're children but cannot because they can't afford a visa. Some of them are even serving as interpreters to gain entry, which is a danger to they're lives as well as family members.



(2) These people are breaking the law. I don't know how else to say it. I can't believe there is even debate in this country concerning this subject. I would have to say that most criminal enterprises in this country are motivated by the potential for quickly made, large amounts of money. I'm willing to bet some of biggest drug dealers in the history of America started out as typical poor kids. I'm sure these men did what they did because they wanted a better life for their families. The selling, wholesale purchase and/distribution of narcotics is a crime in America. Did these men recieve any amnesty? I mean all they were really trying to do is improve there quality of life. I would like to be able to send my kids to college, so if I rob a bank will I recieve amnesty because I was only trying to secure my children's future? Of course not because robbing a bank is, you guessed it, AGAINST THE LAW no matter what my intentions were prior to, during, or after committing the crime.


Unfortunately, the feelings expressed on this blog fall on deaf ears as our elected officials/candidates for office are increasingly obsessed with appeasing the mexican-American community by displaying a lack of willingness to simply enforce the law in order to win elections/reelections. They're definitely not concerned with the issues of the black community with respect to those of hispanics. The best way for us as black americans to combat this growing threat is to become a self reliant community which will require more of us to become as educated as possible and work together to overall raise the socioeconmic status of black americans or simply put we must build wealth within our community (people respect education and the color green before they will ever respect the color black).

One blogger talked about how these people come here with racist feelings toward blacks because of racist practices imposed upon blacks in their native coutries. I whole-heartedly agree with this assessment. I have read several articles about blacks living in both Latin and South America and have noticed a trend of blacks typically living in the poorest conditions and denied basic rights like education and jobs. It is also not uncommon for blacks to be the subject of comic relief on television and in comic strips often resembling monkeys and gorrilla's ( I am referring specifically to Mexico.) I don't know if any of you remember but the Mexican President himself publicly infered that black Americans are lazy, scum of the earth, and represent the worst that America has to offer. This, however, is only my impression of his comment. His comment sounded somewhat like this: "they [mexican immigrants] do the jobs that blacks won't even do" you take what you want from that. I found it interesting that the president of Mexico actually had the nerve to question efforts by a few elected officials and normal citizens to block illegal entry into this country.

When I first became aware of the dynamics of race in America, I thought that all non-whites shared somewhat of a bond. Truth be told, as a black man, you would more than likely recieve a warm welcome marrying into a white family than any other race. It's sad to say but ,in my opinion, most non-white immigrants despise black americans.

This angers me because our ancestors earned the right for me to be here in blood and we as African Americans should not allow ourselves to be denied a seat at the "table of prosperity" by anyone
especially by a group of individuals who hasn't payed their dues or somehow believes they are better than we are because some of us won't do certain jobs. When I was a baby my mother use to clean offices to feed and cloth me; now she earns over 90K a year. WE HAVE EARNED OUR RIGHT TO BE HERE DON'T GET IT TWISTED.