Video: Frank Morris Calls Rep. John Conyers "Blind" to the Negative Effects of Immigration on Workers, By Jerry Kammer, July 14, 2013Let’s face it, America’s immigration control system has collapsed. The rule of law no longer prevails. And the least fortunate Americans are those who pay the price of our Open Borders anarchy, especially African-Americans. While immigration patriotism is all too often characterized as a “conservative” cause, African-Americans are sometimes forgotten even by those who fight the hardest against this scourge.
But not by everyone. One heroic voice speaking for all American citizens: Frank L. Morris PhD, a retired Graduate Dean, Professor and Senior Foreign Service Officer. On February 11, Dr. Morris spoke to the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security on the urgent need for interior immigration enforcement legislation. More importantly, Dr. Morris spoke for the most vulnerable Americans who are too often forgotten by both Left and Right.
Dr. Morris gave his testimony, in his words, “on behalf of many vulnerable American workers.” He supports the various bills presented to further immigration enforcement because “they begin to address the egregious injustice which has de facto allowed illegal migrant workers to evade the letter and intent of American immigration, labor, and criminal justice laws such as working with, cooperating with, and paying international human smugglers.”
In any other age, someone telling Congress “American laws are meant to protect American workers and keep our communities safe” would seem common sense. Today, Dr. Morris’s comments are revolutionary.
And as he noted, Open Borders anarchy makes Americans second class citizens in their own country:
When civil or criminal laws are not enforced against any group or class for any reason, that group or class has a de facto privileged status under American law, whether formally recognized or not. When that privileged status goes to noncitizens who benefited from breaking labor and immigration laws by working, this surpasses any similar benefit available to American citizens.The failure to enforce the law has disastrous consequences for all Americans, of whatever race or color. But for African-Americans like Dr. Morris, the failure to enforce the law is particularly insulting.
As Dr. Morris poignantly noted,
African Americans have paid dearly for the long fight for equal citizen benefits. African Americans have long suffered in the past from the stringent enforcement of American laws such as those enforcing segregation, and when some of these citizen benefits evaporate because labor,immigration, and civil and criminal laws are not enforced against noncitizens, this breach against the American birthright should not be allowed to continue. [Links added]Many Americans feel they lack “permission” to speak against illegal immigration because they don’t want to be called a racist. They are also fearful of attacks from Hispanic lobbies such as LULAC, the National Council of La Raza, and others. Some would say speaking about immigration reeks of “privilege.”
But illegal immigration is its own form of privilege. The hard-won benefits of citizenship that African-Americans and others now enjoy are simply given away. Illegal immigrants are told that the law doesn’t apply to them, a right no other group within our Republic enjoys. It’s no surprise that an ever-greater number of Americans of all races are ready to shout out that this is simply unfair.
Perhaps the most powerful, relevant, and useful part of Dr. Morris’s testimony is his identification of “illegal immigrant worker privilege” and his explanation of how it undermines American citizenship.
“The greatest evidence of illegal immigrant worker privilege is the fact that these workers who have violated immigration and labor laws (and possibly document fraud laws) are able to keep jobs they were never eligible to get in the first place. I define immigrant worker privilege as basically the non- enforcement of laws or sanctions for the protection of American workers toward the overwhelming majority of illegal migrant workers.The result is the silent collapse of the American Way of Life. Illegal immigration results in nothing less than the Death of the American Dream and the destruction of the American middle class.
The false contention that “immigrants take jobs Americans won’t do” would be correct if it stated “immigrants take jobs Americans can’t get.” Contrary to popular belief, American workers are the overwhelming majority in all the major fields of immigrant employment — specifically construction, the services, and light manufacturing. The fact that 83% of all construction workers in America are American demonstrates how fallacious the immigrant employment myth really is. The use of illegal migrant workers in construction in lieu of young African American workers is a source of both frustration and despair in African-American communities.
The critical section of Mr. Gowdy’s bill that grants states and localities the authority to enforce immigration laws can be a vital tool for the local African American activists and local political leadership to start to bring construction jobs home.
The recent testimony by our IRS Commissioner John Koskinen before a U.S. Senate subcommittee further reinforces how the illegal worker privilege further trumps the needs of American citizens who did not get access to the jobs held by the illegal immigrant workers. Koskinen testified that those millions of illegal workers who will benefit from the announced deferred deportation will not only get the right to keep their jobs with work permits, but they will also be eligible to collect billions of dollars from the U.S. Treasury in the form of retroactive earned income tax credits(EITCs). “
It is important to point out that the economic environment for the American middle, working, and poor classes has been declining during the last four decades of high legal and illegal immigration. Millions of American jobs disappeared in the 1990, 2001 and 2008 recessions. Many of these jobs were manufacturing and middle-skill jobs that have not returned. These losses were not solely due to immigration but primarily to increased capital-intensive automation and outsourcing of increasingly higher order tasks. One result of the loss of these jobs for the middle class has been more competition for the former middle class workers with those seeking jobs requiring less skill and less pay. One result of this is that wages for the median family have not increased in real terms in more than 40 years, even though workers have become more productive. If this wasn’t enough, we are still experiencing the loss of retail employment as more and more move online for shopping and purchasing.It’s an utter tragedy that the economic destruction of the poorest and most vulnerable members of our society is being spearheaded by our country’s first African-American President.
To counter it, more African-Americans like Dr. Morris need to step forward and champion immigration enforcement as a necessary step in achieving economic justice for all Americans. Dr. Morris has made a heroic contribution to that effort. And even if the President won’t listen to him, the American people should.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former longtime member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own. He is the author of From the Dissident Left: A Collection of Essays 2004-2013