More than half of the Congressional Black Caucus is asking President Joe Biden to invite many deported black migrants back to jobs in the United States.
“Now is the time to turn the resources and power of the U.S. government toward repairing these harms in the name of racial justice for Black and brown immigrants,” says the July 7 letter, signed by the elite-left Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) and 29 other members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
But the letter was not signed by roughly 20 members of the CBC. Their missing signatures reveal a split in the CBC — and a divide in the so-called “squad” of six radical Democrats — over immigration economics.
The letter does not mention migration’s economic damage to Americans, including black Americans.
“These race-based politics are very cruel” to Americans, responded Rob Law, the director of regulatory affairs and policy at the Center for Immigration Studies. Law continued:
Working Americans lose when they have to compete against low-skilled cheap foreign labor, whether they’re legal or unlawful. Law-abiding citizens suffer when those illegal aliens in the country go on to commit crimes that would have been wholly preventable if immigration was enforced, and it makes it harder [homebuyers and renters] because migrants cluster and drive up [housing] prices.
The CBC signers are also working against the black Americans they claim to support, Law added. “It really does a disservice to [black] constituents … Their wages are down, and their unemployment has skyrocketed after the historic gains that occurred under the Trump administration,” he said.
The 30 CBC signers included some have political roots in non-black migrant communities, some with a growing number of Latino advocacy groups in their district, and some emerged from the progressive movement. They included Al Green (D-TX), Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Karen Bass (D-CA), Donald McEachin (D-VA), and Ritchie Torres (D-NY).
But the letter was not approved by the CBC, and roughly 20 members of the CBC did not sign the letter. That is a notable split in the CBC over migration.
For many years, the CBC has kept a very low profile in migration politics, partly because many ordinary blacks oppose the wage-cutting, rent-boosting labor migration that is favored by business leaders, by GOP leaders, and by Democratic leaders.
For example, a June 20-22 poll of 1,500 adults by YouGov reported that only 28 percent of black respondents believe that immigration makes America better off. For comparison, a similar 22 percent of GOP voters believe immigration improves America. And only 12 percent of black respondents say immigration makes America worse — but 60 percent dodged the question, saying “not sure” or immigration “doesn’t make much difference.”
In April 2018, Breitbart News reported on a survey that showed blacks without college degrees are more concerned about cheap-labor migration than are blacks with college degrees. Professor Tatishe Nteta, at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, wrote:
Working-class African Americans are significantly more supportive of policies that seek to: decrease the number of immigrants coming to the United States, increase the federal role in verifying the employment status of immigrants, and attempts to amend the Constitution’s citizenship provisions.
The letter also split the so-called “Squad” of six radical Democrats.
It was signed by Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN). But it was not signed by squad members Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), or Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO).
The list of CBC non-signers includes Reps. Terri Sewell (D-LA), Maxine Waters, D-CA), Joe Neguese (D-CO), Val Demmings (D-FL), Brenda Lawrence (D-MI), Lucy McBath (D-GA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Anthony Delgado (D-NY), Colin Allred (D-TX), and Bobby Scott (D-VA).
Two notable non-signers were Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), who is the chairman of the House homeland security committee, and Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the Democrats’ whip and vote-counter.
Their list of non-signers is important, in part, because many business groups are pressuring Democrats to include a massive, wage cutting, rent boosting, job losing series of immigration and amnesty giveaways in a pending budget reconciliation bill.
These business groups are led by billionaire investors, including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his sprawling network of secretly funded advocacy groups. They are lobbying to import more consumers, renters, and workers, largely because the inflow will spike the value of their Wall Street investments.
Mondaire’s letter also complements a lobbying effort by an advocacy group for immigration lawyers, the National Immigration Law Center.
The center is run by and for lawyers who gain professionally and ideologically from greater immigration. The group’s board also includes representatives from corporations that profit from imported labor and consumers. Those lawyers work for many companies, including McDonald’s and the Levy food-service company. Mondaire’s announcement of his letter includes this applause from the lawyers’ group:
The National Immigrant Justice Center is grateful for the leadership of Congressman Jones and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they stand in solidarity with immigrant communities seeking to reunite with their unjustly deported loved ones.
There are many press reports of black Americans losing wealth because of migration — and of gaining wealth because of lower migration. For example. The Baltimore Sun reported on May 27 employers in Ocean City, Md., had gotten only 100 foreign workers out of the 4,000 J-1 workers expected for the year. The cut-off forced them to train locals, including blacks:
Da’Mari Thomas, an 18-year-old senior graduating from Mergenthaler Vocational Technical High School, trained with the program after hearing about it through Sutton Scholars, a youth program associated with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.
Thomas, a Northeast Baltimore resident who plans to study electrical engineering and construction management this fall in community college, is now working at the Carousel Hotel. Thomas said he was interested in a hospitality job because he likes “taking care of people problems. I’m good at problem-solving and analyzing things.”
He said he also saw a chance to “go to Ocean City and network with different people I never met before,” and have a “chance to step away into a new environment with people willing to help you grow.”
In 2018, immigration officials forced a Chicago bakery to fire Latino illegals, allowing black workers to get more jobs and higher wages. The Chicago Sun-Times reported:
Ed French, owner of Elgin-based Metro Staff Inc., says his company became the main provider of [replacement] workers for the bakery and that about 80 percent of them are black. According to French … wages [are] up by about 25 cents an hour, to just above minimum wage.
He says everyone hired through his company is permitted to work in the country and has passed a background check and drug test.
According to a former consultant to the bakery, MSI paid the black workers $14 an hour, versus the $10 an hour the Mexican workers were making through Labor Network.
“President Trump frequently celebrates the experience of black workers, noting correctly that the group’s unemployment rate is at its lowest on record,” the New York Times reported in February 2020, at the peak of President Donald Trump’s lower-migration, higher-wage economy:
Mr. [Markus] Mitchell became a full-fledged employee at JEVS Human Services in Philadelphia in October, after a year as an apprentice. Just three years ago, he was making $13,000 working in the kitchen at a Chick-fil-A, feeling unsure about his future. Landing the $38,000-a-year position was the latest step in a rapid career ascent made possible in part by America’s record-long economic expansion and low unemployment rate.
Mr. Mitchell’s story is, on one level, a lesson in the power of a strong labor market to lift up disadvantaged communities. When workers are scarce, companies are more likely to hire people without much experience or formal education, and to provide training to help those employees succeed. Employers are also more likely to consider candidates with disabilities, criminal records or other barriers to work and to offer other options, like flexible hours, to attract people with caregiving responsibilities.
The letter comes as Biden’s deputies open many side doors in Americans’ immigration law to help extract more migrants from other countries, regardless of the impact on Americans’ wages, wealth, and dignity. “We’re eager to bring people back in who shouldn’t have been removed in the first place,” an official told a reporter in June.
Mayorkas is a Cuban-born immigrant who has directed his immigration-control agency to put the dignity of migrants — not Americans — “foremost in our efforts.” Pro-migration lobbies say they have worked with Mayorkas’ deputies to shift the media coverage of the border crisis to reduce public opposition to Biden’s loose-border, wage-cutting policies.
The legislators’ letter argued that black migrants should be invited back simply because they are more likely to be deported than people in other migrant groups. This disparity stems from a higher-than-average of criminal arrest rate of people who are black, the statement said:
The immigration system’s historic reliance on criminal arrests and convictions to inform decisions about whom to detain and deport imports the racial disparities and biases of the criminal legal system directly into the immigration system. Although only seven percent of undocumented immigrants are Black, Black undocumented immigrants make up 20 percent of those facing deportation.
A 2016 report by the NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic, where Das is the co-director, and the Black Alliance for Just Immigration found that although black immigrants represent about 7 percent of the non-citizen population, they make up more than 10 percent of immigrants in removal proceedings. Criminal convictions amplify the disparity: Twenty percent of immigrants facing deportation on criminal grounds are black.
“The U.S. criminal legal system [is] a system acknowledged to unfairly and disproportionately target and discriminate against Black and brown people,” the letter said, and it links to an Atlantic article claiming that a Canadian illegal was deported because he was also black.
The article was funded by a left-wing foundation and posted in a pro-migration outlet. But the article includes a comment from the police: “Phoenix Police Department spokesman Vincent Lewis told me the officers at the motel found two guns and recommended felony possession charges against [the Canadian, Chris] Gustave and his friend.”