With less than two months until Election Day 2020, more and more news stories are focused on the pivotal African-American vote.
In a New York Times op-ed written by Fox News contributor Juan Williams, the author boldly wrote that "the black vote now defines American politics." Williams' commentary went on to provide a long list of reasons that Black Americans should support challenger Joe Biden over incumbent President Donald Trump.
Boiled down, Williams contends that African-Americans dislike President Trump because they perceive him as a racist. He believes that four more years of President Trump would be bad for Black and Latino Americans. As Williams wrote, "Black Americans have had enough," and for them defeating Trump is "personal." Fox News viewers know that Williams can barely contain his disdain for President Trump.
On one count, Williams is spot on. The Black vote, which is 12 percent of the national electorate, could determine whether President Trump remains in the White House or whether Biden achieves his five-decade long dream of ascending to the U.S. presidency.
Trump hopes to capture more than the 8 percent of the Black vote he received in 2016. The president's 2020 reelection campaign created Black Voices for Trump, a program designed to increase African-American voter turnout and help him garner 15 to 20 percent of the Black bloc. Expect to hear Trump tout his pre-COVID-19 success that helped drive Black unemployment to a record low 5.5 percent last year.
Had Williams in his 2,100-word column added fact to his opinion, he could have concluded that a Biden presidency would be disastrous for African-Americans and other minorities. Biden proposes, through expanded immigration, to increase the work-authorized population by more than 15 million people.
In short, Biden wants to grant amnesty to roughly 11 million unlawfully present aliens, provide an easier entry path for asylees and refugees, protect from deportation deferred action for childhood arrivals and their families, maintain the diversity lottery, texpand employment-based visa categories for both low- and high-skilled workers, tdilute border and interior enforcement and defend temporary protected status recipients.
Biden's immigration platform means millions of employment-authorized persons will enter the labor pool to compete for American jobs - not Williams' well-paid, elitist jobs, but the type of employment that helps lower-skilled, less-educated minorities begin their ascent to the middle class.
Williams is typical of mainstream media reporters who refuse to connect the dots between immigration and work authorization, which impedes upward mobility for minorities. The media has powerful allies that also favor waves of new employment-authorized immigrants, even though they contribute to Black workers' unemployment. The 55-member strong Congressional Black Caucus is united in its immigration advocacy, and votes accordingly.
A Biden presidency and the mass immigration that would accompany it will derail the economic recovery that blue-collar workers are just now enjoying. A recent Bloomberg report found staffing firms in key U.S. cities are offering bonuses of up to $5 an hour to bolster the existing $12 an hour wage. Jobs posted with a wage scale of $12 - $14 an hour went wanting, but $17-hour positions were eagerly snapped up. Trump's tighter immigration policies have contributed to higher wages.
T. Willard Fair, the Urban League of Greater Miami's chief executive officer, spoke the tough, honest talk that the Black Congressional Congress should heed. Fair once told the Miami Herald that amnesty for illegal workers is more than a slap in the faces of Black Americans; it's an economic disaster that weakens African-Americans' political empowerment. And in his congressional testimony, Fair said the interests of Black Americans are clear: "no amnesty, no guest workers, enforce the immigration law."
History proves that Fair is right. The low-immigration, tight labor market years from 1924 to 1965 spawned impressive wage gains for all Americans. As the "Journal of Economic Literature" confirmed, white males' real incomes expanded two-and-one-half-fold between 1940 and 1980, but for Black men, those same incomes quadrupled, and closed the economic gap between the races.
Black Americans must listen to a true and fearless voice like Fair's to help them reach the long-elusive economic stability that they deserve.
Joe Guzzardi writes for the Washington, D.C.-based Progressives for Immigration Reform. A newspaper columnist for 30 years, Joe writes about immigration and related social issues. Contact him at [email protected]