Anti-Amnesty Ally: Martin Luther King, Jr.?

civilrights_2Peter Kirsanow, a black commissioner on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, wrote to President Barack Obama with a warning. Granting legal status to illegal aliens (so they can “come out of the shadows” and work legally) would decrease job prospects for black Americans.

Lower-skilled workers of any race already have a hard time making ends meet in this economy. But add millions more lower-skilled workers…Why reward lawbreakers with legal status? What’s in it for the average American citizen? Shouldn’t Americans of any race, skin color, or creed come before foreigners, whether legal or illegal?

Not to our president, it seems.

The anti-amnesty side of the aisle has recruited a man who could be a powerful ally: the late Martin Luther King, Jr. Non-profit group Californians for Population Stabilization produced an ad for cable TV to coincide with King’s birthday, to be observed on Monday. From the Washington Examiner:

The announcer asks how Dr. King “would feel about 19 percent of African-Americans unemployed or underemployed? About giving amnesty and work permits to four million illegal aliens with so many Americans jobless? About admitting one million more immigrant workers in 2015 when 13 percent of Hispanic Americans are having trouble finding work? About Americans of all races not seeing a real wage increase in decades?”

It also notes that the unemployment rate among African-Americans is 19.2 percent, and 13.6 percent for Hispanics, way above the national average and that for whites.

The group’s spokesman, Joe Guzzardi, said, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. promoted equal treatment for all Americans. But President Obama is putting the interests of immigrant workers ahead of American workers who want jobs.”

Many people invoke King to support their causes. The question is less about what King would have supported had he lived and witnessed the progress black Americans made, and more about what he’d have said if President Lyndon Johnson had announced a plan to reward millions of people with no respect for our laws with legal status to compete for jobs with low-skilled blacks.

Photo credit: Archives Foundation (Flickr Commons)

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