Why Blacks March Against Illegal Immigration—And Why They Shouldn’t

Here’s one man’s thoughts on the African-Americans who oppose illegal immigration.

Why Blacks March Against Illegal Immigration—And Why They Shouldn’t

New America Media, Commentary, Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Posted: Jun 21, 2007

Editor’s Note: In the last 15 years, many African Americans have supported anti-immigration measures in states such as California and Arizona. Fueled by a soaring unemployment rate among African-American men, anti-immigrant sentiment among blacks is understandable, argues NAM editor Earl Ofari Hutchinson, but the blame is misdirected. Hutchinson is the author of “The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African Americans and Hispanics,” to be published in October 2007.

The buzz on the June 23 march against illegal immigration in Los Angeles is that it’s a historic event. It’s the first time Los Angeles, or any city, for that matter, has issued an official permit for blacks to march against illegal immigration.

The march, as far as it is known, was planned and organized by black activists. Though the march is unique, blacks have been loudly protesting illegal immigration since it became a stormy national issue and ripped apart Congress last year.

In May 2006, an odd assemblage of writers, preachers, a homeless rights advocate, professional anti-immigration advocates, and a few local black community residents from the Washington, D.C., area grabbed some camera time with a press conference. They called themselves Choose Black America and claimed that the overwhelming majority of black Americans agreed with them that illegal immigration was the prime threat to blacks.

This was hardly a spontaneous gathering of public-spirited blacks who were outraged at the impact of illegal immigration, and neither was their red-hot rhetoric against the bill.

The Federation for American Immigration Reform paid for the airfare, hotel accommodations and other expenses for most of the participants as well as the rental fee for the press conference. The organization has long demanded the toughest possible immigration laws and the tightest possible border control.

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