While President Barack Obama’s decision last weekend to postpone his long-expected executive order on immigration until after the midterm elections is a disappointment, the White House will still act to ease the harsh federal enforcement policies that cripple our economy and harm millions of families. Until the White House acts, the door remains open for advocates, including me, to make a targeted argument about the universal value of federal actions to protect immigrant families from the threat of deportation. What’s more, the president’s executive action, when it occurs, will bring fiscal benefits and won’t harm American workers.
Yes, my fellow black Americans, I’m talking specifically to you because you have nothing to fear from immigrant workers. There seems to be a rear-guard movement of lesser-known activists and self-proclaimed leaders who boisterously argue that immigration reform is bad news for the nation’s black communities. They are wrong and not representative of the population they claim to represent. Indeed, few of them have standing or visibility among black Americans. But actual civil rights leaders, according to Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, “view immigration reform as a defining civil and human rights issue of our time.”
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