Skip to main content

NAACP, Barack Obama Call for Earned Citizenship for Illegal Immigrants

Date: Monday, April 03, 2006
By: Michael H. Cottman

The NAACP is calling on Congress to enact sweeping immigration reform that does not include enforcing a mass deportation campaign and a provision to build a 700-mile security fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Our nation's immigration policy must be consistent with humanitarian values and with the need to treat all individuals with respect and dignity," Bruce Gordon, president of the NAACP, said in a statement.

"We must move away from the politics of ostracizing immigrants and instead look at the demographic shifts and needs of our nation in a larger context," Gordon said.

A U.S. House bill passed in December -- which has drawn fierce opposition from Latino groups -- would make illegal immigration a felony, impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, require churches to check the legal status of parishioners before helping them and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.

Last month, more than 500,000 people gathered in downtown Los Angeles to protest the House legislation and tens of thousands rallied in Phoenix and Milwaukee. In Detroit, protesters waving Mexican flags marched from the southwest side of the city where many Hispanics live.

Senate majority leader Bill Frist said the Senate will likely begin debating the issue this week and craft its own immigration legislation, a prospect that has heightened the discussion about immigration reform and renewed calls for protests and letters to congressional leaders.

Democrats like Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) say immigration reform is a divisive issue but contend that lawmakers should work collectively to assist immigrants living in the U.S.

"I know that this debate evokes strong passions on all sides," Obama said in a statement to BlackAmericaWeb.com. "The recent peaceful but passionate protests of hundreds of thousands around the country are a testament to this fact, as are the concerns of millions of Americans about the security of our borders."

"But I believe we can work together to pass immigration reform in a way that unites the people in this country," he said, "not in a way that divides us by playing on our worst instincts and fears."

Obama said the Judiciary Committee's bill would strengthen enforcement, "but while security might start at our borders, it doesn't end there."

He said millions of undocumented immigrants live and work in America.

"We need to strike a workable bargain with them," Obama said. "They have to acknowledge that breaking our immigration laws was wrong. They must pay a penalty, and abide by all of our laws going forward.

"But in exchange for accepting those penalties," he added, "we must allow undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and step on a path toward full participation in our society. In fact, I will not support any bill that does not provide this earned path to citizenship for the undocumented population."

Gordon said that legislation to address genuine immigration reform should include proposals that would allow people to earn the right of citizenship through hard work, the commitment of several years and meeting several monetary, security and related requirements. He said the NAACP "strongly opposes any efforts to criminalize undocumented immigrants."

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) said while he believes border security is essential, Republicans have passed a series of immigration bills over the years that have been ineffective.

"Let me say at the outset that Democrats believe that a strong border security policy is an absolute necessity for this nation," Conyers said during a recent speech on the House floor. "We must ensure that terrorists do not simply walk into this country and lurk in the shadows of our society until they attack our people."

"But this bill is mostly not about border security," Conyers added. He said Republicans repeatedly use the fear of terrorism to push their anti-immigrant agenda.

"We do not need to adopt policies of jailing, deporting, and criminalizing immigrants to protect ourselves from the real threats of terrorism," Conyers said. "More importantly, we are giving the American people a false sense of security if we tell them a bill like H.R. 4437 will help keep them safe."

Political commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson said civil rights leaders overall have been "virtually mute" on the subject of immigration. He said there are no position papers, statements or press releases on the websites of the NAACP, National Urban League or SCLC on immigration reform. And, he added, "The Congressional Black Caucus hasn't done much better."

"The CBC and civil rights leaders tread lightly on the immigrant rights battle for two reasons," Hutchinson said in a recent column. "They are loath to equate the immigrant rights movement with the civil rights battles of the 1960s. They see immigrant rights as a reactive, narrow, single-issue movement whose leaders have not actively reached out to black leaders and groups."

Meanwhile, the NAACP released a set of principles for revised federal immigration legislation:

* Support of family unification by not subtracting the visas given to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens from visas available to all family immigrants thereby reducing the backlogs in which people wait for many years to reunite with their closest family members;
* Support of protections for agricultural workers and a path to legal permanent residency and citizenship for college age students;
* Support of due process rights for immigrants facing deportation, including access to fair, humane and common-sense procedures such as a speedy trial and adequate counsel;
* Opposition to efforts to penalize anyone for providing humanitarian assistance to their fellow human beings, regardless of the citizenship status of the person in need of help;
* Opposition to any efforts to require, encourage or deputize state or local police to enforce federal immigration laws;
* Opposition to Department of Homeland Security detention of individuals indefinitely;
* Opposition to low-level Citizenship and Immigration Service personnel exercising unreviewable authority to judge good moral character of an applicant for citizenship;
* Opposition to mandatory detention of undocumented immigrants without individualized consideration of whether detention is necessary.

"Problems with the immigration system cannot be resolved without looking at the larger economic needs of the nation," Gordon said, "such as the creation of job training programs and small business programs, as well as federal education assistance so that all Americans can have enhanced opportunities."

© MBM

Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

quote:
"We need to strike a workable bargain with them," Obama said. "They have to acknowledge that breaking our immigration laws was wrong. They must pay a penalty, and abide by all of our laws going forward.

"But in exchange for accepting those penalties," he added, "we must allow undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and step on a path toward full participation in our society. In fact, I will not support any bill that does not provide this earned path to citizenship for the undocumented population."



I guess being in jail for undocumented illegal immigrants is full participation in our society. After all ask "our" people in jail that question.

Dont worry the US army has free labor camps to answer that need of labor shortage.

Obama is adding nothing to this problem except crafted words.

It needs the full approval of the House and Senate and they are dead in the water for now over this whole issue.
Senators and many others are overlooking the fact that we are talking about "Illegal" Immigrants. So the issue is how do the U.S. Government get past allowing some people to violate the Law, and how would this "Guest" Workers Program apply to Foreigh Blacks, the Islanders, South Americans, Africans and Europeans.

If the Congress want to give these Illegals some form of "Amnesty", how does that apply to those who will become Illegals once they create the program? You can expect many to start coming across the Border now, and when you count up to 100, you will find there's 100 more that you didn't know about.

What this Government really wants to do is flood the labor market with illegals that Business will not have to pay minimum wages, or any benefits. Consequently these Illegals will deplete the existing Resourses in these local Communities, like Schools and Medical Care.

There is some indication that when we allowed a similar Law to take place in 1986 there were 1.5 to 3M Illegals, and since that time it has risen to 11 to 20M.

When you sanction Illegality you will encourage more to be illegal to accomplish their purpose. Since these Low Wage Unskilled workers are depressing the U.S. Labor Market, we can expect the system to crash and burn in a few years anyway.

These Workers have penetrated many area of our workforce, when originally it was thought that they were just "Fruit Pickers". The Construction, Trucking, and Janitorial Trades are rapidly being consumed by Illegals.

leart
quote:
Originally posted by leart:
These Workers have penetrated many area of our workforce, when originally it was thought that they were just "Fruit Pickers". The Construction, Trucking, and Janitorial Trades are rapidly being consumed by Illegals.

leart


When Americans are willing to work these jobs, the "illegals" will have no means to take them. And they can't get subsidized healthcare or educational benefits unless they have a social security number.

The only thing "depressing" our economy is our political leadership with their stupidity.
quote:

When Americans are willing to work these jobs, the "illegals" will have no means to take them.


Sorry, but I just can't believe that. Perhaps this is true in general, but in my life, what I have witnessed is capable legal citizens (mostly Black) being denied jobs they were more than qualified for in favor of giving them to illegals. Granted, these jobs were low skilled services or trades, but they were ways for legal Black citizens to make money and feed and clothe their families. In fact, it once happened to me. When I was younger, I used to apply for summer jobs at places like Home Depot, but was always turned down. Instead of a literate citizen for temporary work, they chose people who couldn't even speak English and had obviously fake identification, if any (yeah, that short brown Mestizo who can't speak any English is really name Bob Schneider---I'm not making this up). Trust me, I had no qualms about mopping floors and stocking shelves. Also, I used to converse with some illegal immigrants and they discussed how they were paid under the table, meaning instead of getting a paycheck, they'd be paid cash money. Other times they'd tell of how they'd go to MacArthur Park in the Mid-Wislhire area and pay between $50-$200 for fraudulent social security numbers and birth certificates. Instead of being paid minimum wage (which at the time was about $6.25, IIRC), they were often paid less than five. Everytime I go to Los Angeles there are young men who are capable and willing to work who can't find jobs because it's just easier to pay an illegal. If there are people who don't want these jobs, it's because they pay so little now that there is an influx of cheap labor. Trades like construction work and roofing used to provide a pretty good salary for young men. Companies figured they could hire illegal labor for less pay and no union hassles, and now they know they don't have to pay a good wage because they can go to any street corner or freeway off-ramp and find a huddle of immigrant men just waiting to be picked up.

quote:
And they can't get subsidized healthcare or educational benefits unless they have a social security number.

Not true. The most common tactic is to go to the local emergency room for any ailment, no matter how trivial. Last time I was in the emergency room with a friend who had broken an arm, and had to stay in the waiting room while he was escorted to the radiology department. While there, there were at least 150 people there, so crowded there was no siting room and people were lying on the floor in pain. I talked to some of the people in both English and Spanish, and also listened to them when they went to the triage window (couldn't help it, no where else to stand). A surprising number were there for colds, sniffles, heart burn, and "tiredness". Very few spoke English. Of course, you can also just buy fake documents on the street corner. And if not that, then if you or your spouse has a child on US soil, the whole family can qualify for free or low cost health care.

Just out of curiosity, what are ya'll's thoughts on giving illegals in-state tuition while legal American citizens who wish to attend a public university must pay a significantly higher out-of-state tuition if they have not lived in the state of the school for two years or more?
quote:
Just out of curiosity, what are ya'll's thoughts on giving illegals in-state tuition while legal American citizens who wish to attend a public university must pay a significantly higher out-of-state tuition if they have not lived in the state of the school for two years or more?


Its not right. If you come here and don't have proper status under the laws of this country, why should you benefit from a system that has been paid into by people like myself? Its not right. Its just another enticement to bring more cheap labor into the U.S.
Let me ask, where are they doing this?? I have an idea, but I want to see if we're thinking of the same state(s).
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:
Not true. The most common tactic is to go to the local emergency room for any ailment, no matter how trivial. Last time I was in the emergency room with a friend who had broken an arm, and had to stay in the waiting room while he was escorted to the radiology department. While there, there were at least 150 people there, so crowded there was no siting room and people were lying on the floor in pain. I talked to some of the people in both English and Spanish, and also listened to them when they went to the triage window (couldn't help it, no where else to stand). A surprising number were there for colds, sniffles, heart burn, and "tiredness". Very few spoke English. Of course, you can also just buy fake documents on the street corner. And if not that, then if you or your spouse has a child on US soil, the whole family can qualify for free or low cost health care.

Just out of curiosity, what are ya'll's thoughts on giving illegals in-state tuition while legal American citizens who wish to attend a public university must pay a significantly higher out-of-state tuition if they have not lived in the state of the school for two years or more?


thanks thanks thanks
quote:
Originally posted by UppityNegress:

Just out of curiosity, what are ya'll's thoughts on giving illegals in-state tuition while legal American citizens who wish to attend a public university must pay a significantly higher out-of-state tuition if they have not lived in the state of the school for two years or more?


Depends how long they've been living in the state. Somebody who moved to that particular state as a child, even if undocumented, then his or her parents have been contributing to the state's economy for many years. Since that is presumably the rational for the difference in treatment between in-state and out-of-state tuitions, I can see no reason for differing treatment.

Personally, it makes sense to me for public universities to be free, just like elementary and high school.

BTW, "illegal" is an adjective, not a noun, as you have used it. Even as an adjective, it is a word used to modify acts, not people. there's no such thing as an "illegal" human being. There are only illegal actions.
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
BTW, "illegal" is an adjective, not a noun, as you have used it. Even as an adjective, it is a word used to modify acts, not people. there's no such thing as an "illegal" human being. There are only illegal actions.


Hmmm ... I dunno about that, Ricardomath! It is an adjective, but can be (and frequently is) used as a noun ... just as the word "Black" is sometimes used in the same way. In the phrase "illegal immigrant", illegal is used to denote the status of the person ("immigrant"), not to describe the actions which give her/him that status.

As an adjective, a noun modifier, it is closer to a noun than to anything else ... and can and is sometimes interchangable.
quote:
Originally posted by xxGAMBITxx:
Honestly, until our "leaders" address that racist, ass backwards, "wet foot, dry foot" policy pertaining to Cubans vs. Haitians, thier just "spinning" in my view.


You know that is a good point, does anyone actually believe that people would be this forgiving of illegal immigrants if all those millions of folks coming across were Haitians.
I think you are grossly misled on this issue. Forged Documents are a part of Illegal Human Smuggling. It's the U.S Businessmen who support Illegal Immigrants, and if the Government would prosecute them the process would end. If no one would hire them they wouldn't come, and the businesses would have to pay locals a liveable wage, and they wont have a shortage of workers.

For some Construction Jobs the Wage Scale has been cut more than 50% by them using these Illegals.

When a Businessman decide to open a Business he has to determine if he/she can afford to meet operating expenses and make a profit. The Businessperson can't estimate his labor cost, or expect to pay labor cost that is sub-market, or what he would have to pay a person to make them want to work the job to meet their living expense.

This stuff ain't Rocket Science. Businesspeople have to pay a liveable wage for the market in which they operate. They wont be in business long paying wages based on hiring illegals from Mexico or other foreign Countries where the cost of living and wage scale is lower unless they can get government to let them violate the law.

Some Businesses that are not domestically based can Off-shore the Work and beat the System that way, but that don't apply to Domestic types of businesses. If the Business is Farming or Construction, they can't off-shore it.

The reason these Businesses have been able to pay these Illegals for so long is that Corrupt Politicans have supported them with favorable Legislation and governmental regulations.

leart
quote:
Originally posted by ricardomath:
quote:
Originally posted by Fine:
Obama is a mole....!


I believe that his father is from Kenya, so it's a natural position for him to take.


Yah, his Father is a JaLuo from Kenya who came here on a student visa and got his citizenship by marrying his mother and then bouncing... Isn't that basically a 'loophole' in the legality issue?..Not that I give a damn, to me this country is illegal.

IMO his father being from Kenya is precisely why he shouldn't think this way. But, he is part of the system and has sworn to uphold it in his oath taken for office so I couldn't ecpect much more from him.

Add Reply

Post
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×