|Immigration debate short on black voices|
|African and Caribbean immigrants ignored|
|Published Thursday, February 7, 2013 7:22 am|
Suddenly pressed by political imperative and rapidly shifting post-election demographic winds, the U.S. Senate “Gang of Eight” huddled intensely over the most daring attempt at comprehensive immigration reform since 2010. It was an aggressive effort, the scope of which rattled many longtime Hill observers. By week’s end, the most ardent pessimists were forced to acknowledge that a potential breakthrough could be on the horizon.
As Democrats and Republicans wrangled over the details in closed-door sessions, one calculation was clear: it was all about who could win the hearts and minds of Latino voters first. Democrats need that vote to continue dominating the presidential election landscape while hoping to retake the House during Congressional midterms in 2014. Republicans, however, are in a more desperate war for the demographic, recognizing they will need Latino voters if they plan on surviving as a viable national political party.
But, conspicuously absent from the immigration reform debate are black immigrants, who account for nearly 10 percent of foreign-born individuals in the United States. It’s an omission that’s prompted many in the black immigrant community to cry foul, with others — including African Americans — pointing to willful Washington ignorance of black immigrants as nothing more than run-of-the-mill institutional racism.
“They’re already dealing with enough black people as it is,” joked a black congressional aide speaking off record to give a candid assessment. “Do you think they want more coming into the country?” gesturing towards a phalanx of approaching white representatives walking down a Capitol hallway.
There is a general feeling among many in the U.S. African Diaspora that black immigrants are at the bottom of the immigration policy totem pole, due to nothing more than the darker shade of their skin. Latino immigrants, while many are illegal, get the media attention, some say. Others point to the disparity in treatment between politically-backed Cuban immigrants and powerless Haitian immigrants, each attempting dangerous trips to Florida shores.
Yet, black immigrants are the most educated compared to their Latino, Asian and European counterparts. Nearly 50 percent of African immigrants from places such as Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone have obtained a college degree. Only 43 percent of Asian immigrants have obtained a degree, and a smaller 30 percent of immigrants from Europe, Russia and Canada have done the same.
But, while black immigrants maintain some of the highest higher education rates in the world, they remain invisible in the larger immigration reform debate. Lawmakers in Washington and state legislatures tend to focus on the vexing Latino problem – a natural reflex given the fact that Latinos, particularly from Mexico and Central America, make up the lion’s share of the immigrant population.
“Obviously the size of the African immigrant population is smaller, and they do not have the coordinated or aggregate political power compared to Latinos,” observes Minneapolis-based immigration lawyer and expert Paschal Nwokocha. Nwokocha, Nigerian-born but now a U.S. citizen, expresses deep concern that the black perspective is left out. As the former chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association Minnesota/Dakota Chapter, he’s worked closely with legislators such as Congressional Black Caucus progressive Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on the issue.
“This is a frustrating issue,” argues Nwokocha. “I think a lot of us are left out. And then you have others who don’t want to be identified with the immigration struggle but want to reap its benefits.”
Jeneba Ghatt, a Washington Times commentator and herself an immigrant from Sierra Leone, agrees. “You best believe there are millions of Africans and Caribbeans waiting in the wings, watching and anxious to see comprehensive immigration reform moved because more likely they will benefit.”
“The last time we heard Congress talking about Africans was when the House tried to nix the diversity lottery visa program.”
As the debate rages on, African immigrants seem much more open to an exchange on the mechanics of the reform debate while Caribbean immigrants seem noticeably tight-lipped. When attempts were made to discuss the issue with Rep. Donna Christensen of the U.S. Virgin Islands — a major entry point for many West Indians — the office seemed reticent, with one staffer only commenting that the Congresswoman “was currently working on a legislative proposal.”
Sources on and off Capitol Hill also note that black members of Congress are simply not focused on immigration as a priority, despite the fact many of them represent large pockets of black immigrants.
While African immigrants seemed eager to discuss the issue, calls to other major Caribbean community leaders and organizations went unanswered. An active member of the West Indian community in Washington, D.C. anonymously attributed the silence to “pride.”
“Caribbean people are very proud,” explained the source, clearly perturbed by the question. “They feel that talking publicly about the issue is somewhat insulting or that it lumps them into the same category as illegal immigrants when they all worked very hard and sacrificed so much to become legal citizens.”
Garry Pierre-Pierre, senior editor for the Haitian Times and an active advocate within the U.S. Haitian Diaspora, observes that the Caribbean community is simply satisfied with letting the Latino community handle it. “Other immigrant advocacy groups have been working in the background with the Latino organizations,” said Pierre-Pierre. “The other groups don’t really care about being mentioned, they care about the results that are good for all immigrants seeking a path to citizenship and better working conditions.”
|JUST RAVING ABOUT ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, IS NOT GOING TO DO IT? USE YOUR PHONE?|
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION is overall about cheap labor, it is the global conversion of American workers that are being replaced by job seekers from foreign countries. To me this has been exquisitely planned and carried out, by the open border movement, in collusion with special interest groups. Why employ Americans who can demand a living wage and fair benefits including health insurance, when the business owner can hire a foreigner paying low wages, with nothing else, exploit them and even cheat the taxman? THIS IS THE SILENT INVASION, WITHOUT A SHOT BEING FIRED. The 1986 blanket amnesty didn't accomplish anything, for at that time zero tolerance enforcement was promised both externally and in the interior--all was ignored. It was beginning of the end of fair and impartial enforcement, that was quietly underfunded and that when the business empires collected fine profits on the back of the population. Now we have a growing accomplishment of balkanization, a growing divide in this sovereign country, with President Obama leading his mentors to America?s financial demise. In 27 years we have accumulated not just the 3.1 illegal aliens given free passes to our countries welfare, which graduated to another 2 million? But as we will implicitly see if there is another Path to Citizenship a sudden escalation of border jumpers and a rise in suspicious airline visitors, looking to be rewarded with automatic citizenship. Please?Ultra Liberal Democrats, Republicans and all those believe in Obama?s promise of the U.S. becoming a national entitlement nation of something for nothing?
The magnet to America has always been here, for high paying jobs specifically in the STEM industries. There has always been a fair visa compromise for top skilled people. But we cannot accept more people who will never rise above low income, specially foreigners who don?t respect our immigration laws, cannot speak English and rely on our public benefit service to survive; it just breeds more poverty and this society are unable to financially support the world?s population, expressly children smuggled here to attain citizenship in the hundreds of thousands. Finally a word about Guest Workers who qualify for jobs in the fruit and vegetable industry, must be strictly regulated on a temporary basis and leave when visa expired, to return on a new contract.
This Obama government wants to rule us all, giving out gifts to illegal aliens who he man hopes will vote for democratic/communist policies in 2016. The Immigration Reform and Control Act curtly signed by President Reagan was the inception of a huge emergence of FAMILY CHAIN MIGRATION, adding to future years of poverty. Prior generations for U.S. citizens and green card holders; the latter coming here had to compete with more illegal aliens pouring in through insecure barrier, placed to separate us from even more impoverished people. The intermittent fence just doesn't do the job, however the 2006 secure double fencing as signed into law by the President George Bush could have proficiently attained that? Not one fence, but two fences, with an open area in between for quick response of Border Patrol vehicles. Today with a reliable estimate of between 20 and 25 million unwelcome persons who are draining the welfare system. This is an accretion of decades of illegal migrants and immigrant, along with family chain migration and the children smuggled here and others born here to foreign nationals.
GET THE WORD OUT AND BUILD THE DOUBLE LAYER FENCE. THEN RUN THE ILLEGAL FOREIGNERS OUT WITH A MANDATED E-VERIFY PROGRAM ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH THE LEGAL WORKFORCE BILL. THEN FINISH THE 113 CONGRESSIONAL SESSION BY VOTING INTO LAW THE SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE BIRTHRIGHT CITIZENSHIP BILL. CALL THE SENATORS AND HOUSE REPRESENTATIVE ON THESE TWO POTENTIAL LAWS, MAKE IT REAL AND NOW.
As a matter of fact, a reader only has to scour the media on the Internet, to locate more than enough comments and blogs to convince me that there is no credence in believing that the larger portion of the American populace think that a Path to Citizenship is a good thing. The only Rasmussen poll that I trust shows that 65 percent of those asked stated that no amnesty should be given or path to citizenship?
BEFORE IT'S ALL TOO LATE? ENFORCEMENT FIRST, THEN WE TALK?
Attention; Audit the conglomeration of foreign banks, called THE FEDERAL RESERVE.
|Posted on February 7, 2013|
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