Jim Clyburn Compares Obama Exec Amnesty to Emancipation Proclamation, Integration of Military

Jim Clyburn Compares Obama Exec Amnesty to Emancipation Proclamation, Integration of Military

One of the top Democrats in the House is comparing President Barack Obama’s forthcoming executive amnesty that would give illegal immigrants special treatment under law to the Emancipation Proclamation and the integration of the military, which allowed Americans to be treated equally under the law.

On Friday, Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the House Democratic Assistant Leader, said it is “high time” for Obama to act on his executive amnesty, even saying that enacting an executive amnesty would put Obama in “big company” along with Abraham Lincoln, who “used the executive order to do the Emancipation Proclamation,” and Harry Truman, who “used it to integrate the Armed Services.” 

On MSNBC, Clyburn told host Andrea Mitchell that presidents “have used their executive authority to do some mighty big things that have had very positive impacts on the country” and called on Obama “to take his place among that group” even though he will get push back from Congress “because I think it’s very, very important for him to do so.” 

“It would not be the first time that the Congress has fought a president tooth and nail for doing the right thing for the country,” he added, referring to House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) Thursday vow. “We all know, if only from the movies, the fight that Lincoln had with the Congress on the question of slavery. What a fight we had over the integration of the Armed Services.”

Clyburn said he thought that “this issue of immigration is just as important to this country as integrating the armed services was back in the 1940s.” Obama is reportedly finalizing plans to give temporary amnesty and work permits to five million illegal immigrants, including the parents of DREAMers.

His advice to Obama was to, “Have at it. Get your pen, sign the executive order and let them do what they will or may.”

U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has written a reminder to Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) that Obama’s executive amnesty would hurt American workers, especially struggling black workers.

“Illegal immigration has a disparate impact on African-American men because these men are disproportionately represented in the low-skilled labor force,” he wrote to Obama and the CBC last month. “Such an increase in lawful workers would have a deleterious effect on low-skilled American workers, particularly black workers.”


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