By Joe Guzzardi
March 9, 2015
President Obama’s hijacking of the 50th Selma anniversary to promote his illegal alien amnesty should outrage African-Americans. No matter how much Obama and immigration advocates like U.S. Rep. Gutierrez insist that the president’s executive action which will remove about five million aliens from deportation is their Selma, not even the remotest comparison can reasonably be drawn.
Obama audaciously suggested that denying aliens temporary legal status, work permits and social security numbers “is not true to the spirit that the march on Selma was all about.” Gutierrez, who never misses a political theater opportunity, disgracefully insisted that Obama’s amnesty is Hispanics’ Selma. As any eight grade student should know, the 1960 civil rights movement which included Selma’s Bloody Sunday confrontation was about enfranchising black Americans with the privileges due to them as citizens while the pro-amnesty movement is about unconstitutionally granting rights to non-citizens who voluntarily entered the U.S. illegally.
Sadly for black Americans, they aren’t honestly represented in Congress. If they were, Obama might not be so bold. Despite their constituents’ struggles, the Congressional Black Caucus is solidly behind Obama’s amnesty.
Going back several decades, the black unemployment rate has remained approximately twice as high as white’s, currently 10.4 percent versus 5.5 percent, and rose more quickly during the recession. Average African-American wages have actually declined since 2000.
Blacks are less likely to have a college education but more likely to live in lower income neighborhoods where jobs are scarce. Even workers with college diplomas haven’t been spared from unemployment. The liberal website Center for Popular Democracy cited African-American Reggie Rounds’ as an example. Rounds, a Ferguson, MI. resident who graduated from college and earned several special certificates in his field, hasn’t worked steadily for years for the simplest reason. No matter how impressive Rounds’ credentials are, no jobs are available.
The few existing opportunities are mostly found in low-paying sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics February employment report showed that “food services and drinking places” showed the biggest gains. Rarely does waiting tables or serving drinks represent a path to full time employment or a middle class life style.
Yet, the CBC and congressional Democrats, which should protect African-American interests, endorse the president’s executive action that adds millions of new workers into an already glutted labor pool and will have detrimental consequences on unemployed or underemployed blacks.
Away from the White House and Congress, black leaders know how devastating amnesty would be. In his letter to Obama, Peter Kirsanow, commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, wrote that existing high levels of illegal immigration have already had a discernible negative effect on black employment. Because illegal immigrants and blacks are disproportionately low skilled and under-educated, they often complete for the same jobs.
The commission’s research found that aliens have displaced black U.S. citizens especially in industries that historically hire large numbers of African-Americans. Kirsanow logically concluded that Obama’s amnesty would exacerbate and perpetuate the already acute employment disadvantage blacks have.
In Obama’s America, the tragic truth is that when it comes to the fundamental right to work, citizens and legal immigrants have less standing than unlawful immigrants.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow. Contact him at [email protected]