Peter Kirsanow, an official with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, attributes illegal immigration as one of the largest factors responsible for the steady decline in the labor force participation rate among black Americans.
“The competition in the industry sectors where there’s a large or traditionally large number of black employees is most fierce in the industry sectors like agriculture, service, hospitality. And it has resulted in a decline in employment levels, that is not small,” Kirsanow said Monday on “The Laura Ingraham Show.”
“We’re talking about 30 percent of the 18 point decline in the labor participation rate among blacks is attributable to illegal immigration,” he added.
Last April, Kirsanow and two other Commission members wrote a letter to Congressional Black Caucus Chairwoman Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, (D-Ohio). “In light of recent debates on comprehensive immigration reform, we are writing to address a rarely-discussed effect of granting legal status or effective amnesty to illegal immigrants,” the three Commission members wrote. “Such grants of legal status will likely disproportionately harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment and depressing their wages when they do obtain employment.”
In that same letter, the Commission members cited a 2008 briefing their body held which concluded that illegal immigration “has a disparate impact on African-American men because these men are disproportionately represented in the low-skilled labor force.”
Immigration is a hot-button issue in Washington. Reports that House Speaker John Boehner is gearing up to bring a immigration bill to a vote are popping up more and more.
Boehner clearly wants to overhaul the immigration system, but to revive the issue, he will have to untangle knots he tied during the past year.
First, he ruled out the Senate’s “comprehensive” bill and said no House bill would get a vote absent support from a majority of Republicans. Then he announced that instead of a single, wide-ranging bill, the House would take a “step-by-step” approach, with reform embodied in several separate bills that could not be reconciled with the Senate proposal.
Elsewhere, political prognosticators are blaming Boehner’s hesitancy to bring up a immigration bill on the basis that a vote could hurt Republicans in an election year. But not dealing with the de facto amnesty that exists in America today hurts us all and has a desperate impact on the most unskilled among us, particularly blacks.
“Before the federal government decides to grant legal status to illegal immigrants, due deliberation should be given to what effect such grant will have on the employment and earnings prospects of low-skill Americans generally and black Americans specifically,” they wrote. “We respectfully submit that granting such legal status is not without substantial costs to American workers,” the Commission warned.
Kirsanow also said that the Commission’s concerns regarding immigration have been ignored by President Obama and the Congressional Black Caucus.
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