January 31, 2023

Black Activists Condemn Obama Amnesty Plan for Illegal Aliens

Washington, DC – Black activists with the Project 21 leadership network are continuing to speak out against President Barack Obama’s unilateral action on illegal immigration.

Joe R. Hicks , former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference: “President Obama strode into the White House promising to give the American people the audacity of hope. What we are witnessing instead, with his immigration agenda, is an audacious grab for power and an evisceration of the Constitution. With the stroke of a pen, Obama rewards those who arrogantly mock our border laws while simultaneously telling those hopeful immigrants still waiting patiently to lawfully come to America that they are chumps. After these five million or so, what then? The magnet that draws illegal immigrants across the border just got stronger. They will come expecting, — no, demanding — to get ‘Obama’s amnesty.’”

Demetrius Minor, youth minister and motivational speaker: “Barack Obama really had the potential to be an iconic president. It’s a shame he’s now relegated to someone who will be remembered most for not only dividing a nation, but for circumventing Congress in order to push his personal agenda.”

Stacy Washington, talk radio host: “Well, black liberals, sorry — but I have to put you on blast. Every time this country has pardoned illegal immigrants, crime and black unemployment have gone through the roof. Don’t believe me? Check the statistics from Reagan’s congressionally-approved amnesty package. Not only did more illegal immigrants as were promised become legal through the undiscovered intricacies of chain immigration, but the crime rate soared and black unemployment went through the roof. Sorry again, black liberals. You just got dumped!”

Charles Butler, talk radio host: “The fact is President Obama will do with the stroke of a pen what 300 years of slavery, Jim Crow and legal segregation could not: destroy the hopes and dreams of millions of black Americans. His position on illegal immigration and reform is not tenable given the numerous sources of information that warn of the negative impact of immigration reform on black Americans and low-income Americans.”

Christopher Arps, founder of the black social networking web site Move-On-Up.org: “Mr. President, how do these people ‘get right with the law’ when you have to break the law to allegedly get them right with the law? This man — a self-professed constitutional scholar — is so brazen that he’s openly violating the Constitution he swore to protect. And he’s doing so just a few years after he said he didn’t have the authority to do what he just did on immigration.”

Shelby Emmett, lawyer and former congressional staff member: “I wish Obama would focus just ten percent of his time on Americans and not illegals. Since this all about rewarding people who chose to put their kids in a position where they’d be ‘ripped’ from their arms, why isn’t Obama suspending family law as well? After all, plenty of American parents lose their kids on a daily basis over silly things like breaking the law.”

This year, Project 21 members have been interviewed and published hundreds of times on immigration, including an op-ed the Orlando Sentinel by Project 21’s Joe Hicks.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).


Obama’s Amnesty Order Harms Jobs, Schools, Health and Simple Fairness, Black Activists Say

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

Washington, DC – Activists with the Project 21 black leadership network are critical of just-announced executive action by President Barack Obama to grant amnesty to non-citizens illegally in the United States.

“What President Obama did is reward those who broke our laws. This will only embitter and endanger the citizenry and legal immigrants who are similarly looking for work, just scraping by and worried about their economic future,” said Project 21 Archbishop Council Nedd II of St. Alban’s Anglican Church. “God has blessed America with abundance, and I cannot fault those seeking a better life here. But the unregulated surge of people across our borders is problematic, unsustainable and in violation of carefully-crafted rules.”

“By himself, and against the protests of congressional leaders, President Obama is giving the illegal alien community absolution for its law-breaking. Obama’s action effectively rewards the intentions of these illegals to exploit a broken immigration system and lay claim to the American way of life at the expense of its citizens and legal immigrants who obeyed our laws,” said Project 21’s Derryck Green, a southern California resident. “Our nation will undoubtedly suffer from further and a likely intensified strain on our infrastructure as well as resources that are already limited in supply due to a poor economic recovery.”

“What we are now witnessing with Obama’s amnesty plan is a complete destruction of our constitutional republic. We no longer seem to live under a system of checks and balances or separation of powers,” said Project 21’s Shelby Emmett, a lawyer and former congressional staff member who dealt with immigration issues. “We the people apparently have no more say in our representation or our form of government.”

Project 21 has issued six “DataReleases” on immigration in recent weeks, covering the following major policy areas:

Jobs: Jobless Black Americans are demographically similar to illegal immigrants and amnesty means they encounter substantially increased head-to-head competition for jobs. Illegal immigrant migration to urban centers exacerbates challenges for black jobseekers. The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded that illegal immigrants “depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men.”

Fairness: Carefully-crafted rules to manage immigration into the United States with an eye toward health, financial sustainability and clean legal records are discarded by mass amnesty, which also is unfair to those who immigrated after waiting in line. Obama-backed immigration policy changes would eliminate the method by which a quarter of all African immigrants, who historically have emigrated legally, are allowed residency in the United States while millions of Latin Americans who arrived illegally are granted amnesty.

Health: Health providers along the U.S-Mexico border are dealing with flu, tuberculosis, chicken pox, scabies and other illnesses brought into the U.S. by illegal aliens. The legal immigration process contains health screening, but the massive influx of Latin American children in 2014 in particular led the Obama Administration to rely on inferior screening processes and a resettlement strategy that dispersed them across the country.

Public schools: Attorney General Eric Holder told public school administrators they have an “obligation to enroll students regardless of immigration status.” This influx expands class sizes and stretches school budgets.

Refugees: Designating Latin American illegal aliens as “refugees” from gangs and drug lords to justify an executive action blocking them from deportation would disrupt rules and limits for accepting refugees into the United States and put refugee candidates from other parts of the world at a severe disadvantage.

History: Immigration surges historically have tended to hurt the employment prospects of black Americans.

This year, Project 21 members have been interviewed and published hundreds of times on immigration, including an op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel by Project 21’s Joe Hicks, a former executive director of the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research (http://www.nationalcenter.org).


Obama Amnesty Would Hurt Black Americans

Press Release from National Center for Public Policy Research:

Washington, DC – If President Barack Obama takes unilateral executive action to grant work permits to millions of illegal aliens, he will hurt black Americans, say experts with the Project 21 black leadership network.

How Black Americans Will Be Hurt by an Obama Amnesty

Black Americans will be hurt because the President will flood the labor market with workers who compete disproportionately with black Americans. This will increase black unemployment and discourage some blacks from entering the labor market, and, according to some studies, increase black incarceration rates.

Facts and Figures

• Black Americans are already suffering from higher-than-average unemployment. The 2013 unemployment rate for blacks with no high school diploma was 20.5 percent; for those with such a diploma, 12.6 percent. By contrast, the rate was 7.4 percent for all races and 6.5 percent for whites.

• 7.1 million black citizens age 25-54 have a high school education or less; if President Obama succeeds in unilaterally granting work permits to illegal aliens, 6.2 million aliens aged 25-54 with a high school education or less will be able to compete legally for work with those 7.1 million blacks.

• Other than the illegal immigrants themselves, employers are the most likely to benefit financially from amnesty, yet black Americans are disproportionately unlikely to own business equity. Equity in businesses accounts for less than four percent of assets for black households, compared to 18 percent for white, according to Pew Research, which also reports that ownership value in business assets declined slightly from 1983-2010 for black families but increased by 106 percent during the period for whites.

• Illegal immigrants and black Americans in the workforce have a similar median age (approximately 36 and 39 years of age, respectively, with non-Hispanic whites six years older than the illegal immigrants, at 42 ), making illegal aliens more likely to compete head-to-head for age-sensitive employment opportunities.

• Illegal alien migration within the United States tends toward major metropolitan cities and, increasingly in recent years, to urban and rural areas in southeastern states, which tend to have higher black populations. This is putting more immigrants in direct competition with black Americans for jobs. Dr. Vernon M. Briggs, Jr. of Cornell wrote in 2010: “…some of the fastest growing immigrant concentrations are now taking place in the urban and rural labor markets of the states of the Southeast — such as Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia… Indeed, about 26 percent of the nation’s foreign-born population are now found in the states of the South… many of these new immigrants in this region are illegal immigrants.”

• The recession took a particularly harsh toll on black America, with the black unemployment rate rising to a high of 16.7 percent twice (March 2010 and August 2011) during the Obama Administration, and remaining high during the second quarter of 2014, when 11 percent of blacks in the workforce aged 16 and older were unemployed compared to an overall unemployment rate of 6.1 percent.

What Project 21 Members Say About Amnesty’s Impact on Black Americans

“Under Barack Obama, high rates of poverty and unemployment have become the status quo for all-too-many blacks. Yet this president is willing to facilitate the importation of yet more poverty into our nation in the form of low-skilled illegal aliens from Central America and Mexico. In the face of already depressed wages and scarce jobs, blacks now face the specter of increased pressure from millions of illegal immigrants to whom Obama threatens to grant amnesty, further depressing wages and job opportunities for black men and teenagers — guaranteeing lives of poverty well into the foreseeable future.” – Joe R. Hicks, Project 21 member and a former executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference

“Intentionally allowing millions of illegal immigrants into an already-stressed economy will further decrease wages while increasing competition for economic opportunities that don’t exist, particularly among low-skilled black Americans. It’s bad economic policy. Official government measures say just under ten million Americans are unemployed, and the labor force participation rate is near historic lows. The economy has averaged a growth rate of under one percent over the past two quarters and more than 11 million people left the workforce altogether during President Obama’s tenure. We can’t create enough jobs for citizens who need them, yet Obama wants to act alone to add millions of illegal aliens to that troublesome equation?” – Project 21’s Derryck Green , who blogs on the economy for the black leadership network.

What Others Say about Amnesty’s Impact on Black Americans

• The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights concluded in 2010 that, “Illegal immigration to the United States in recent decades has tended to depress both wages and employment rates for low-skilled American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are black men.”

• A joint paper by professors at the University of California, University of Chicago and Harvard for the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that immigration has measurably lowered black wages. One author, Dr. Gordon H. Hanson of UC San Diego, said, “Our study suggests that a 10 percent immigrant-induced increase in the supply of a skill group is associated with a reduction in the black wage of 4.0 percent, a reduction in the black employment rate of 3.5 percentage points, and an increase in the black institutionalization [incarceration] rate of 0.8 percentage points.”

Dr. Hanson also testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights that, “The economic adjustments unleashed by the large 1980 – 2000 immigrant influx, a labor supply shock that increased the number of workers in the United States by nearly 10 percent and the number of high school dropouts by over 20 percent, reduced the employment rate of low-skill black men by about eight percentage points. Immigration, therefore, accounts for about 40 percent of the 18 percentage point decline in black employment rates. Similarly, the changes in economic opportunities caused by the 1980 – 2000 immigrant influx raised the incarceration rate of black high school dropouts by 1.7 percentage points, accounting for about 10 percent of the 20 percentage point increase observed during that period.”

• Vernon M. Briggs, Jr., professor emeritus in labor economics at Cornell, has noted that both illegal immigrant and black workers tend to “cluster in metropolitan areas,” thus increasing the likelihood that they will compete for the same jobs. Dr. Briggs adds, “there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low-skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major loser in this competition are low-skilled black workers. This is not surprising, since if employers have an opportunity to hire illegal immigrant workers, they will always give them preference over legal workers of any race or ethnic background. This is because illegal immigrant workers view low-skilled jobs in the American economy as being highly preferable to the job opportunities in their homelands…”

Dr. Briggs further states, “As for wage suppression, all studies show that the large infusion of immigrants has depressed the wages of low-skilled workers. It is the illegal immigrant component of the immigration flow that has most certainly caused the most damage… the unemployment rates in the low-skilled labor market are the highest in the entire national labor force. This means that the low-skilled labor market is in a surplus condition. Willing workers are available at existing wage rates. By definition, therefore, illegal immigrants who are overwhelmingly present in that same labor market sector adversely affect the economic opportunities of legal citizen workers because the illegal workers are preferred workers. No group pays a higher penalty for this unfair competition than do low-skilled black Americans, given their inordinately high unemployment levels.”

Dr. Briggs concludes, “The continued reluctance by our national government to get illegal immigrants out of the labor force — and to keep them out — by enforcing the existing sanctions at the work site against employers of illegal immigrants is itself a massive violation of the civil rights of all low-skilled workers in the United States and of low-skilled black American workers in particular.”

• Dr. Harry J. Holzer of Georgetown University and the Urban Institute has addressed evidence from two studies showing that employers may have a preference for hiring immigrants over black citizens, noting the studies show “that employers perceive stronger work ethic among the immigrants, and a greater willingness to tolerate low wages… Some of these perceptions and the hiring behavior they generate might well reflect discrimination, especially against black men whom employers generally fear…”

• Labor attorney Peter Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, testified before the U.S. Senate in 2012 that, “…recent history shows that granting amnesty to illegal immigrants will encourage more people to come to the United States illegally. The 1986 amnesty did not solve the illegal immigration problem. To the contrary, that amnesty established the precedent that if you come to America illegally, eventually you will obtain legal status. Thus, it is likely that if illegal immigrants are granted legal status, more people will come to America illegally and will further crowd African-American men (and other low-skilled men and women) out of the workforce.”

So far in 2014, Project 21 members have been interviewed or cited by the media over 1,000 times on issues including civil rights, entitlement programs, the economy, race preferences, education and corporate social responsibility. Project 21 has participated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding race preferences and voting rights and defended voter ID laws at the United Nations. Its volunteer members come from all walks of life and are not salaried political professionals.

Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over two decades, is sponsored by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Contributions are tax-deductible and appreciated.


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