‘Epitomized the American Dream’: Trump Honors Civil Rights Icon, Pro-American Immigration Reformer Barbara Jordan

American congresswoman Barbara Jordan (1936 - 1996) from Texas, on the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, Washingon D.C., July 1974. Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty
Washington, D.C.

President Trump honored civil rights icon and pro-American immigration reformer Barbara Jordan, who fought tirelessly in her last years in Congress to reduce legal immigration levels to benefit America’s working and middle class.

In a statement released Wednesday, Trump memorialized Jordan’s efforts in the mid-1990’s to slash legal immigration and end illegal immigration in order to relieve working and middle-class Americans, and specifically black Americans who disproportionately compete for low-skilled U.S. jobs against the primarily low-skilled foreign-born population.

Trump’s statement honoring Jordan reads:

“It is both a right and a responsibility of a democratic society to manage immigration so that it serves the national interest.”  With this simple, common-sense perspective, civil rights icon Barbara Jordan challenged our Nation’s leaders to maximize opportunities for all Americans by adopting an immigration policy that puts American citizens first.

Barbara Jordan epitomized the American Dream she worked so tirelessly to protect.  In 1966, she was elected to the Texas Senate, the first African-American woman in our Nation’s history to serve in that body.  And in 1973, Jordan became the first woman to serve Texas in the United States House of Representatives.

Throughout her career, she recognized that an immigration policy that puts Americans first is an important civil rights issue.  As Chairman of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform—now called the Jordan Commission in her honor—she stood up to special interests determined to profit politically and financially from our broken immigration system.  She remained steadfast in promoting common-sense reforms that would better protect the rights and needs of Americans.  Jordan called for an end to chain migration, which has allowed millions upon millions of low-skilled foreign nationals to compete for opportunities and resources against our most vulnerable American citizens—many of whom come from African-American and Hispanic-American communities.  She also called for the mandatory use of an electronic employment verification system, now known as E-Verify, to finally turn off the jobs-magnet that lures so many illegal immigrants to our country.

Though Barbara Jordan passed away on January 17, 1996, her noble fight to secure prosperity, fairness, and equal opportunity for America’s workers lives on.  In the spirit of Jordan’s vision, my Administration has taken an America First approach to immigration.  As a result, illegal immigration is down and reports from around the country are showing companies increasing wages and hiring Americans pushed out of the labor market during past administrations.

My Administration is optimistic that Republicans and Democrats in Congress will come together, for the good of our country, to pass legislation that secures our southern border with a wall, stops chain migration, and ends the visa lottery program once and for all.  By doing so, we will serve American interests, secure the promise of our economy for every American citizen, and strengthen the American Dream for future generations.

In 1995, Jordan famously released her detailed list of legal immigration-cutting reforms that her immigration commission found would raise the wages, quality of life, and economic opportunities of America’s working class communities.

Jordan’s pro-American immigration reform recommendations, which were endorsed by President Bill Clinton, included:

  • Mandatory E-Verify to ban employers from hiring illegal aliens
  • Barring illegal aliens from non-emergency public services
  • Cutting legal immigration levels down from more than 1 million admissions a year to 550,000 admissions a year
  • End chain migration, which allows naturalized citizens to bring in an unlimited number of extended family members
  • Reducing the importation of low-skilled foreign workers who compete for U.S. jobs with poor and working-class Americans

Through Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-AR) and Sen. David Perdue’s (R-GA) RAISE Act, these reforms by Jordan were endorsed by Trump, as the legislation revived the Jordan Commission’s recommendations for an immigration policy that works in favor of American citizens.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart New. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder

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