American Workers Brace for Elitists’ Amnesty
By Joe Guzzardi
Congress has announced the details of President Biden’s major amnesty that will reward illegal aliens, the total population of which may be as low as 11 million or as high as 30 million. No one knows.
Among the benefits included in the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 are what Biden called “a reasonable path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants or in Biden’s preferred parlance, “noncitizens,” a greatly expanded refugee resettlement program, looser asylum regulations, an increase in illegal immigration and an end to President Trump’s public charge rule that prohibits public benefit-dependent immigrants from receiving Green Cards.
For Biden, passing amnesty will be a battle. At-risk 2022 Democrats, which GOP leadership estimates to be a total of 47 in the House and at least three in the Senate, may, to preserve their seats, cast “nay” votes. Who controls Congress in two years hence will also depend on the 2022 political climate that surrounds Biden.
For more than 35 years, major amnesties have failed because when recessing legislators take their constituents’ temperatures, they quickly learn how unpopular it is among their voters to reward illegal behavior. Voters consider amnesty a betrayal.
One of amnesty’s inexplicable ironies is the unanimous support from the Congressional Black Congress (CBC) for bills that give employment permission to foreign nationals who will compete head-to-head with low-income African-American workers in a shrinking labor pool, an inarguable fact. Amnesty also adversely effects other low-income, low-skilled residents – an estimated 17 million Americans are currently unemployed – but none are as gravely damaged as blacks.
In 2020, the African-American unemployment rate was 11.4 percent, 1.4 times as great as the 8.1 percent national average. During most of the last half century, black Americans have suffered through unemployment rates that were, had the entire population endured them, recessionary. Throughout those same 50 years, African-American unemployment has consistently been about twice that of white America.
While congressional elites are enamored of amnesty, grounded black analysts have a greater understanding of its perils. Peter Kirsanow, a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights serving his fourth consecutive six-year term, explained immigration and amnesty’s dire consequences on African-Americans, especially the low-skilled. With amnesty pending, in a co-authored 2013 letter to then-President Obama, Kirsanow wrote that granting legal status to illegal aliens will disproportionately and further harm lower-skilled African-Americans by making it more difficult for them to obtain employment and depressing their wages when they finally do become employed. Kirsanow concluded that, then as now, “the economy has a glut of low-skilled workers.”
Today, with Biden’s amnesty looming, true black leaders are reiterating Kirsanow’s irrefutable arguments. In a recent interview, U.S. Representative Burgess Owens (R-Utah) scorned what he labeled “black elitists” like CBC members who have “lived the American dream,” but “… hurt those that are trying to get their first ladder up to the middle class.” Owens added that all of Biden’s policies which include opening the borders to workers who will vie against black Americans defeats the quest of the nation’s underclasses “to live the American dream and get to the middle class.” Summing up, Owens said that regardless of their skin color, elitists are America’s biggest threats.
In 2019, Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), an elitist CBC member and a U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 co-sponsor who during her eight-term career has voted for more immigration and against enforcement at least 120 times, proclaimed that immigration is a “black issue.” Clarke warned her opponents to “never forget” it. But Clarke and her like-minded Capitol Hill allies are wrong.
Immigration is an elitist cause that benefits cheap labor-addicted employers, the billionaire class, housing developers, consumer goods producers, immigration lawyers and open borders/immigration expansionist groups. But, at the same time, immigration harms down-on-their-luck Americans who need a break in the form of a tighter labor market, a helping hand they won’t get from the Biden administration.
Joe Guzzardi is a Progressives for Immigration Reform analyst who has written about immigration for more than 30 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.