By Eunice Moscoso, Austin American-Statesman
May 14, 2007
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the highest ranking Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, on Monday urged black civil rights leaders to oppose an immigration bill in the Senate because it “will drastically reduce job opportunities for African-American workers.”
“Illegal immigrants take jobs from American citizens and lower their wages…the hardest hit are members of the African-American community,” Smith said, in a press release.
Smith sent the message in a letter to Dennis Courtland Hayes, interim president of the NAACP, Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, Ron Woods, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, andÂ Wade Henderson, president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights.
Earlier this month, Henderson endorsed efforts in the Senate to give illegal immigrants a chance at legal residency and citizenship.
“We believe that comprehensive immigration reform is one of the most important civil rights issues of the 21st century,” Henderson said, at a press conference.
In his press release, Smith quoted T. Willard Fair, a community activist and president of the Urban League of Greater Miami, Inc.
Fair was featured in a print ad which ran in the Washington Post earlier this year which says that immigration has been devastating to African-Americans.
The ad was paid for by the Coalition for the Future American Worker which includes several groups who favor a reduction in immigration, including the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), Virginians for Immigration Control and Californians for Population Stabilization.