Mass immigration to the United States is partly responsible for the nation’s “staggering inequality” among black Americans, the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation says.
For decades, about 1.2 million legal immigrants have been admitted on green cards annually while another 1.5 million foreign workers have arrived every year on temporary visas to take American jobs that would otherwise go to American citizens.
In an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune, former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Executive Director Frank Morris Sr. writes that such high immigration levels have been devastating for black American wealth and driven “staggering inequality.”
“The median white household owns over 10 times as many assets as the median Black household — a gap that has actually widened since the civil rights victories of the 1960s,” Morris writes:
But one of the biggest — yet most underexplored — culprits is America’s immigration policy. Throughout our nation’s history, employers have preferred to hire newly arrived foreigners, who will often work for rock-bottom wages, instead of Black workers. [Emphasis added]
That massive [immigration] influx harmed the most vulnerable Americans — especially Black people. In fact, one Harvard economist found that from 1980 to 2000, immigration “reduced the wage of black high school dropouts by 8.3%, reduced the employment rate by 7.4 percentage points and increased the incarceration rate by 1.7 percentage points.” [Emphasis added]
For wages and jobs prospects to rise, Morris writes that legal immigration levels must be reduced as “a matter of racial and economic justice for black Americans.”
“Politicians in both parties pay lip service to helping Black Americans,” Morris writes. “If they were truly sincere, they’d listen to generations of civil rights leaders who’ve all recognized that the best way to boost Black Americans’ fortunes is to ensure tight labor markets. That requires stemming the influx of foreign workers.”
Joe Guzzardi, with Progressives for Immigration Reform, blasted the Congressional Black Caucus for failing to demand a pause on immigration to hugely boost the wages, job prospects, and quality of life for black Americans.
“If the powerful Caucus, 58 members strong, would demand an immigration pause, black Americans could close the earnings gap between them and other ethnic groups, mostly whites, that has plagued them for at least seven decades,” Guzzardi wrote:
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has abandoned its constituency, choosing to support foreign nationals. Instead of helping struggling blacks, the CBC actively hurts them. The caucus accepts without criticism the current illegal alien border surge which will eventually loosen the labor market when the aliens are paroled with work permits. The caucus votes as a block in favor of immigration-expansion legislation including amnesty for millions, and it promotes paths to citizenship for deferred action and temporary protected status holders. American blacks are excluded from CBC’s progressive agenda which guarantees that, for years to come, the wage gap between African-Americans and whites will remain unchanged. [Emphasis added]
Analysis from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) has concluded that “immigration reduces labor force participation of the least-educated black men” and that “blacks are more likely to be in competition with immigrants than are whites.”
“There are a number of studies indicating that immigration is harming the labor market prospects of black Americans … if one is concerned about less-educated workers in this country, it is difficult to justify continuing high levels of legal and illegal immigration that disproportionately impact the bottom end of the labor market,” CIS Director of Research Steven Camarotta has testified to Congress.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.