A recent article in the Charlotte Post, [Black Voices Muted In Immigration Debate, by Ryanne Persinger, August 5, 2010] cites a successful Honduran, Enrique Nassar, who came here years ago–his exact immigration status was not disclosed, except that he had a visa–and made a good life here. Now he says:
"'I opened my own business here in 1998,' he said. 'My children were born here and my daughter is at East Carolina University. She wants to be a pediatrician.' He supports immigration reform [VDARE.COM note: a.k.a. amnesty], saying 'America provides opportunities no other nation can match, which makes it attractive. We are here because it is the best country in the world. We need to work to help our family and have a better life.'
Hey, here is an immigrant, a good worker, a job creator, and family man who believes in the Rule of Law!
(Maybe. What kind of "visa" was that again?)
But get this: after that lead, Ms. Persinger (email her) launches into an editorial against the attitude of African Americans saying
"He won't find much support among African Americans. Nationally, blacks who are likely to vote support enforcement of current laws, including Arizona's controversial SB 1070, which opponents maintain encourage racial profiling.
"According to a February Zogby poll commissioned by the Center for Immigration Studies, 70 percent of black respondents said illegal immigration is caused by lax federal enforcement, compared to 16 percent who blame immigration limits. Eighty-one percent said Americans are available to work unskilled jobs most immigrants take, as opposed to 6 percent who say more immigrants should be allowed entry due to a shortage of Americans. Half support enforcement of laws that would lead to deportation of undocumented aliens, while 30 percent favor granting legal status and a path to citizenship."
Persinger then proceeds to set immigration up as a civil rights issue:
"LaWana Mayfield, [Email her] Mecklenburg Justice program coordinator at Grassroots Leadership, has spent the past two years educating African Americans about immigration reform. Grassroots Leadership is a multi-racial team of organizers that supports progressive issues in the South.
"'In the end we will all be affected by these laws,' she said, 'whether you're African American or not. If you're fair-skinned and don't look white you are going to be stopped and questioned about your citizenship. People of color are a target.' "
How paranoid can LaWana Mayfield get? Charlotte, NC, is a prosperous city of nearly 800,000 with a racial composition of about 50% while, 34% African American, and 11% Hispanic. What kind of police action will involve stopping 45% of the population because of their color!
LaWana Mayfield says black leaders show up at pro-immigration events (don't politicians show up wherever a crowd gathers?), but she complains that "rank and file members of the community" don't:
"'Why aren't more of us showing up?' she asked. 'We, as African Americans, should know about racial profiling. It's not just the Hispanic community, it's the African community as well.'"
The Observer's Persinger then reportoralizes that "The lack of black participation bewilders some Hispanic leaders, who say immigration stands on the shoulders of the civil rights movement."
"Racial profiling"? "Stand on the shoulders of the civil right movement?" Not so!
The reason African Americans aren't showing up is obvious—and it is not racial, it is monetary. It is closely tied to the economic downturn and the fact that, like all American citizens and immigrants here legally, African Americans are tired of the flood of illegal aliens, who impact everyone but particularly the low-skilled.
How does this crude attempt to revive the Rainbow Coalition help unemployed African Americans? By bringing in still more immigrants than there is work for—when US unemployment is nudging 20%, counting those who have stopped looking for work? Too many is too many. Charges of "racism" and spurious links to the Civil Rights movement just don't add up.
Persinger quotes Aziz Muhammed, described as a black Californian, who says, "I would think it's common sense (to support immigration reform) because we all came here from another country." He showed up last week to participate in a pro-illegal rally.
He told Ms. Persinger: "Regardless of race or color, this really affects every human being not only in America, but wherever there is racial discrimination."
Another utter non sequitur. American laws protect all of us here. So why start talking about "racism" abroad?
Persinger tells us:
"Muhammed, who travels the country selling T-shirts that read, 'We will not comply' with Arizona-style immigration laws, says America has been universal in accepting immigrants in the past." [VDARE.COM note: wrong of course]
"'If our ancestors came from another country to this country then we're all illegal.' Muhammed said."
Golly, that's one we have heard before.
Fortunately for her readers' sanity, Ms. Persinger found an African-American businessman who offered a strongly differing view:
"Jim Black, a Charlotte marketing consultant who works with Hispanic clients, said the reason more blacks don't participate in the immigration debate is because there is no viable national leader.
"'They seem to have rallies, but carrying signs and shouting slogans, I don't believe that is effective,' Black said. 'They seem to be so fragmented in their voice and their credibility is lessened.'
"Moreover, Black said immigration has become a political and economic issue in terms of jobs and costs to taxpayers."
Emphasis added, needless to say.
Donald A. Collins [email him], is a freelance writer living in Washington DC and a former long time member of the board of FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform. His views are his own.