Illegal immigrants, undocumented workers, whatever you want, people who sneak into America illegally through the back door, depressing wages should be booted legally out of the front door. Unemployment is at 9.8% (Gallop Poll survey) in America. But the unemployment rate for blacks is far worse at 16% compared to 12% for Hispanics and 8% for whites. Yet, there are about 8 million illegal workers in the US, depriving Americans of jobs that should be theirs. I bet the nearly 14 million unemployed Americans looking for work would gladly take these jobs.
If Obama really wants to create jobs, he should start enforcing our immigration laws. That would be change we could believe in. The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement held a hearing March 1st on this very topic, how immigration is harming minority workers. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith opened the hearing with a shocking report card, detailing Obama’s lax enforcement of immigration laws. Congressman Smith noted:
“Unfortunately, worksite enforcement has plummeted under the Obama Administration. Administrative arrests have fallen 77% from 2008 to 2010. Criminal arrests have fallen 60%. Criminal indictments have fallen 57% and criminal convictions have fallen 66%.”
Shame on President Obama! With a failed stimulus package that did nothing to create jobs, at least he could turn his attention to enforcing immigration laws, this would really “save jobs” for American citizens.
One of the witnesses testifying before the House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing this week, Dr. Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University, summed up the ugly reality of the Obama administration turning a blind eye to the problem.
“The failure to enforce immigration laws means that American citizens are unprotected from a massive influx of millions of foreign born persons who have entered the country without authorization and have openly stolen jobs, goods, and have entered the country without authorization and have openly stolen jobs, goods and opportunities from law-abiding American citizens. It does not matter that some of the unauthorized foreigners are otherwise good people. What matters is their choice to enter the country unlawfully and thumb their noses at the laws and regulations that Congress has enacted to protect the people. By not defending our laws, the president risks and encourages the kinds of lawlessness that we find rampant in other parts of the world.”
What was most compelling about the hearing was Ms. Swain’s data on how blacks are profoundly impacted by the influx of illegal workers into this country and the exchange which later ensued between her and Congressman John Conyers. In a recession when jobs are scarce, Swain noted “native born blacks and Hispanics with a high school education or less suffer the most.” Swain noted, “according to Harvard economist George Borjas a 10% immigration induced increase in the supply of a particular skill group reduced the black wage by 3%, lowered the employment rate of black men by 5% and increased the incarceration rate of blacks by a one percent.”
After all the witnesses presented their statements, Swain engaged in a verbal tango with Conyers, blasting the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), of which Conyers is a member for not doing more to actually help poor blacks, which is the group’s mission. Apparently, Conyers took umbrage at her comments, asserting “CBC is the conscience of the Congress.”
If this is really true, then where is the Congressional Black Caucus’ outrage at the fact that in some parts of the country, like certain areas of DC or Brooklyn, black unemployment is 30%-50% and more importantly why isn’t the CBC putting pressure on the Obama administration to crack down on illegal workers? Sorry, I don’t see any conscience coming from the CBC, grandstanding yes, conscience no. Moreover, considering 95% of Black Americans voted for Obama, one would imagine Obama to feel compelled to address issues like unemployment plaguing blacks at a disproportionate rate to other groups like he’s helping out the BIG unions to beat back state collective bargaining laws. Perhaps at the end of the day, the sad truth is blacks really aren’t that important to Obama, Democrats or the CBC and all this talk of conscience is just that—talk.
What black Americans should do and groups who claim to be advocates of Black Americans is demand the Obama administration enforce immigration laws, including conducting raids, fining employers and deporting illegal workers. Blacks should also put pressure on their member of Congress to pass HR 800 which would make E-Verify, used to determine a worker’s legal status, a mandatory requirement for all businesses rather than voluntary, which it is now.
Blacks would also be wise to support bills and efforts to reduce illegal immigration which rob lawful American citizens of jobs like the Birthright Citizenship Act of 2011. Current federal law allows any child born in the US to become a citizen. 10% of all births nationwide are to illegal immigrants. NumbersUSA notes while the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution grants citizenship to anyone born in the US, the Supreme Court has never interpreted the Birthright Citizenship clause as it applies to illegal aliens – only to legal immigrants.
Granting amnesty to 11 million or more illegal immigrants in this country is comparable to not arresting criminals for crimes they committed years ago because time has passed, so law enforcement just forgives the crime. A woman was horrified recently when I suggested illegal immigrants should be legally kicked out of the country. She declared America’s illegal immigration problem was a little more complicated than cracking down on the law of the land. She drifted into the “who would step into these low skilled jobs” argument.
The country’s illegal immigration problem is pretty black and white, and the solutions crystal clear when you look at the facts. The Obama administration and Democrats need to stop sentimentalizing the problem of illegal immigration, which is hurting America, drift back to reality and re-focus their attention on enforcing the laws of the land.