A University Of New Hampshire Professor Emeritus Says Black Unemployment Closely Linked To Illegal Immigration
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07/13/06 - Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee Appalls A Texas Reader

From:  Bernard K. Gordon [e-mail him]

Re: Edwin S. Rubenstein's Column: June Data Confirms Hispanic/Black Employment Divide

I'm a Professor of Political Science but with little expertise in US domestic issues. My special field is Asian Studies.

Nevertheless, as an observer and annual part-time resident of Washington DC, I believe that I see a daily reminder of a close linkage between a high rate of black male unemployment, especially among young black males (say, under 30), on the one hand, and the growing evidence of a surge in jobs now held by illegal immigrants from Central America and Mexico

If I read correctly Rubenstein's findings, this is something he has steadily noted. I have this question: is anything being done to improve the awareness of the linkage between illegal and legal immigration on the one hand, and the high incidence of black male unemployment on the other?

In other words, it seems to me that those in our political system who most actively are concerned with black unemployment issues should be encouraged to speak out more forcefully AGAINST continued high levels of immigration, and especially of course against illegal immigration.

I would appreciate Rubenstein's comments.

Rubenstein replies: Most black political leaders see immigrants as potential allies in their struggle against discrimination and for increased public benefits. They see little economic gain for blacks from restricting Hispanic immigration.

The same calculus explains the American labor movement's refusal to support restrictionist immigration policies that would increase incomes of its membership.

In summary: political and labor leaders take care of themselves first, their constituents second.


Professor Gordon's Ph.D. is from the University of Chicago; his BA and MA from New York University. 

Gordon has held two Fulbright Fellowships, and one each from the Ford and Rockefeller Foundation. He has also been visiting Professor at Kobe University (Japan); the International University of Japan; and Research Professor at the University of Singapore and Kyoto University. He is a long-time member of the Institute for Strategic Studies, and is on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Scholars.

The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times frequently publish Gordon's op-ed pieces. The most recent is here.

Gordon is also the author of several books about Asian Studies, some of which can be purchased here.

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