On Thursday, some of the nation’s most prominent black leaders praised President Barack Obama’s forthcoming executive amnesty even though granting illegal immigrants work permits will detrimentally impact black workers.
At the National Press Club, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks said he applauded Obama for his executive amnesty, saying amnesty is not only about the “economic status of workers” but also about “compassion.” He said it is “crucial to provide documentation” to all of the nation’s illegal immigrants and declared that the NAACP stands with big-business interests and ethnic and social justice organizations in pushing for a more permanent comprehensive amnesty bill.
Janai Nelson, of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, actually claimed that Obama’s executive amnesty will be “a positive development for non-immigration communities, including African-American workers hit especially hard by the economic downturn.” She said Obama’s executive amnesty will help the “living wage debate” and benefit African-American workers by paving “the way for a more just economic system that will assist various marginalized communities.” She said she had “every confidence” that Obama’s executive amnesty will be a “grand success.”
Melanie Campbell, of the National Organization of Black Civic Participation, said Obama’s executive amnesty is something that is “fair for all Americans” and “workers.”
Marc Muriel, of the National Urban League, said he stood “in solidarity with social justice organizations” to support Obama’s executive amnesty, which he said was a “down payment” on a broader and more permanent comprehensive amnesty legislation.
U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow thinks otherwise. He has written to the Congressional Black Caucus and President Barack Obama numerous times to urge against massive executive amnesty and amnesty legislation because of the detrimental impact it would have on American workers, particularly black workers.
“Granting legal status to millions of people who are in the United States illegally will continue to depress the wages and employment opportunities of African-American men and teenagers,” Kirsanow has written. “Any grant of legal status will serve as a magnet to prospective illegal immigrants and further depress employment opportunities and wages for African-Americans.”
Kirsanow noted that since the “labor force participation rate is at an historic low” among African-Americans, granting illegal immigrants legal status could not come at a worse time.
According to the October jobs report, “more than 92 million Americans — 37% of the civilian population aged 16 and over — are neither employed nor unemployed.” Among African-Americans, only 61.4% of African-Americans participated in the workforce in October, and the number of blacks who dropped out of the workforce completely increased by 114,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The black unemployment rate in October was 10.9%.
Obama unilaterally granted executive amnesty and work permits to millions of illegal immigrants in a Thursday evening White House address even though 80% of the midterm electorate, according to a Polling Company exit poll, believed that foreigners should not take jobs from Americans and legal immigrants already in the country.