The Harvest Institute
623 Florida Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
January 9, 2004 For more information call
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Joann Anderson at 301-564-6075
Dr. Claud Anderson, president of The Harvest Institute, a Black research and education organization, announced that The Harvest Institute does not support President Bush’s recently proposed amnesty for illegal immigrant aliens and has released an Information Alert (available at www.harvestinstitute.org) on the topic. The Alert will be mailed to members of Congress, civil rights organizations and other key policy makers. He said, “Despite the stance of many civil rights groups, immigration’s impact on native Blacks and their communities is disproportionate, direct and devastating. Blacks are losing faith because the government continues a pattern of bestowing the rights that should first go to native Blacks to immigrants from foreign countries. Native Blacks are ignored and patronized with symbolic and ceremonial actions by both political parties. The issue of immigration is roiling within Black communities and has become a divisive
Dr. Anderson, author of best-selling books that include, PowerNomics: The National Plan to Empower Black America said, “The Harvest Institute’s programs and activities focus specifically on uplifting Black America. The Institute should not be confused with civil rights groups that have a broader mission. The status and life circumstances of today’s native Black Americans, the descendants of African slaves, are shaped by the specific laws, public policies and societal culture that excluded Blacks economically, politically and socially. Therefore, when The Harvest Institute uses the term Black, it is targeted just as specifically. Black is not equivalent to and, therefore, should not be equated to such amorphous popular concepts as minorities, multicultural, diversity, people of color or the poor.”
The Harvest Institute’s opposition to increased immigration is based on the Constitution. Blacks were enslaved by laws, therefore Congress had to pass new corrective laws and Constitutional Amendments to change government policies that were legal under slavery but illegal after emancipation. Congress mandated Due Process and Equal Protection for Blacks in the 13th and 14th Constitutional Amendments, and the 1866 Civil Rights Law mandated, “all levels of government to use all necessary means to lift all the badges and incidents of slavery off the shoulders of black people.” None of the mandated corrective actions have ever occurred. Nor did the civil rights laws and social integration of the 1960s lift the “badges and incidences of slavery” from the native Black Americans. Instead the federal government enacted policies which advantaged immigrants over native Black Americans.
Our country’s immigration policies have made native Black Americans this nation’s only planned, permanent, involuntary minority-loser. Native Black Americans have never been allowed to compete in the population war beginning as far back as 1790 when Congress enacted the first naturalization law that placed a zero quota on Black immigrants. Immigration hurts Blacks more than any other population group in America in the following ways:
v Of all the nation’s population groups –Whites, Asians, Blacks and Native American– native Blacks have the highest unemployment, lowest median household income and the lowest number of businesses. Immigrants come to America to compete with, not ally with native Black Americans; legal and illegal immigrants, especially from Mexico, displace native Blacks economically, from housing, their neighborhoods, businesses, education, employment, affirmative action programs and in the nation’s conscience.
v A 10% increase in the number of immigrants reduces the earnings of native Blacks by three-tenths of one percent. In the 20 years between 1970 and 1990, Hispanic, Arab, and Asian immigrants increased by 300 percent each, effectively erasing the 10% gain that native Blacks made between 1956 and 1966, the years of the civil rights movement.
v The Center for Immigration Studies: Immigrant headed households consume more in public services than they pay in taxes; fiscal burden ranges from $11 billion to $20 billion above the net gain from having immigrants in the work force. Only the corporate elite benefit from increased immigration. Native Black taxes are used to help lift immigrants and provide services to them that are not available to native Blacks.
v If Bush’s amnesty proposal for more than 10 million illegal aliens goes into effect, it would decimate Black voting strength.
v Affirmative action programs originally intended as corrective action for Blacks, have been converted into preference programs for immigrants. Since ninety percent of immigrants are classified as White and Whites are excluded from affirmative action programs, why are uninjured immigrants included in these programs?
The following are action steps that The Harvest Institute recommends to begin to eliminate the disparity between legal and illegal immigrants and native Blacks in America:
1) Oppose President Bush’s immigration reform and close the nation’s doors to immigration until policies are in place that redirect resources to native Blacks to correct the inequalities of slavery and Jim Crow semi-slavery;
2) Require all immigrants that seek American citizenship to demonstrate knowledge of Black history and the contributions native Blacks made to the development of this nation;
3) Use a portion of immigration fees to establish community economic development banks that alleviate the direct negative impact of immigration on native Black communities;
4) Reform existing immigration laws to treat Haitian refugees equal to Cuban refugees;
increase the number of immigrants of African descent until their numbers match the percentage of Asians, Arabs, and Hispanics who have migrated to the United States, legally and illegally over the last 40 years;
5) Prohibit immigrants from applying for affirmative action programs which were initially intended to address the native Black racial problem.
Dr. Anderson concluded that, “A 1995 Roper report indicated that 92 percent of Black Americans are opposed to an open door immigration policy. And, until the 1960s, Black leaders acknowledged the harm to their group and opposed it. Opposition to immigration should not be interpreted that Blacks are against any other group. What it does mean is that native Black people expect concentric circles of justice for the people who built this country and they expect to be in the center of the circle of benefits.”