African American leaders have long called for tougher immigration laws

By: JAMES WILLIAMS

Published: City & State PA, MAR 2, 2017

Frederick Douglass was just one of many African American leaders over the past 140 years to argue that lax immigration has harmed the employment opportunities of African Americans.

Taking a hard stance on illegal immigration will increase employment opportunities for unemployed African American workers. In 2014, the US Census Department and the Department of Labor reported that there were 8 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. working or looking for work, making up 5 percent of the civilian labor force. At the same time, there were over 31 million African Americans legally able to gain employment, more than 4 million of them unemployed – a 13 percent unemployment rate. Many of these people live in Philadelphia.

Black leaders such as W.E.B Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, Marcus Garvey and Booker T. Washington all spoke out against immigration during their time. They saw the effects it had on the African American worker, both in cities and in rural America. Jobs that were held by African Americans were being taken by European and Chinese immigrants, which created an unemployment cataclysm for Black Americans already facing intense racial and economic discrimination at the time.

During the second Industrial Revolution of the late 1800s and early 1900s, Black Americans fought back against pro-immigration legislation. In 1879, Frederick Douglass explained the negative role of Chinese immigration on the African American worker: “They would rather have laborers who would work for nothing; but as they cannot get the negro on these terms, they want Chinamen…The loss of the negro is to gain them the Chinese, and if the thing works well, abolition, in their opinion, will have proved itself to be another blessing in disguise.”

Black leaders openly spoke out against European, Mexican and Chinese immigration. In 1895, Booker T. Washington, in one of his most famous speeches, discussed the issue of immigrant workers taking jobs from African Americans. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise Address” of 1895 targeted industrialists who were employing immigrant labor instead of American-born Blacks: “To those of you who look to the incoming of those of foreign birth….cast down your bucket where you are… we shall stand by you with a devotion that no foreigner can approach, ready to interlace our industrial, commercial, civil and religious life with yours.”

In 1928, the soon-to-be business manager of the NAACP, George Schuyler, stated the obvious on Mexican immigration: “If the million Mexicans who have entered the country have not displaced Negro workers, whom have they displaced?”

More recently, African American Congresswoman Barbara Jordan, who chaired the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform in the 1990s, took a stance for stiffer immigration policies that seems conservative by current standards: “The credibility of immigration policy can be measured by a simple yardstick: people who should get in, do get in; people who should not get in are kept out; and people who are judged deportable are required to leave.”

And in March of 2016, Peter N. Kirsanow, a member of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, explained in a US Senate hearing that illegal immigration has a “disproportionately negative effect on the wages and employment levels of blacks, particularly black males.” Progressives who claim to represent the interests of Black workers should take note: these have been the positions of our African American leaders for centuries. We have been engaged in a national debate on illegal immigration for years now. There is nothing that has been more harmful to the African American worker. Isn’t it about time for the effects of illegal immigration on the African American Worker to become part of the discussion? Isn’t it time for our elected African American lawmakers to stand up for their constituents?

James Williams is the Republican Ward Leader in the 50th, as well as the campaign manager for Republican DA candidate Beth Grossman.

Understanding my Centrist ways

We have many different political ideologies when it comes to charting an individual on the political spectrum. I consider myself to be in center. I lean right or left, and up or down on some issues. I have Communitarian views, Liberal views, Libertarian views, and Conservative views. It all depends on the issue. When it comes to guns and marijuana I lean Libertarian. On issues of the greater good I lean Communitarian. When it comes to Civil Rights, corporate regulations, and workforce issues I lean Liberal. And I am completely Conservative in regards to military and fiscal issues. I am a registered Republican, but I fundamentally agree and disagree with each party equally.

Since 2014, I’ve been a Ward Leader. As a Ward Leader, I pledge to support the Republican nominee in every election. But before becoming a Ward Leader, I did not mind splitting the ticket. Here are some of my previous political choices for office (locally, statewide, and federal):

For President, George Bush ’92- In my opinion, there was no one person more prepared to be President. And I believe he was the greatest President of my lifetime. For Senator, Arlen Specter ’92 thru ’10- Along with Bush ’92, they are the reason I registered Republican. Specter is the only reason I remained a registered Republican. And as you will see, my voting patterns trended with Specter. For Governor, Tom Ridge ’94 & ’98- Bush & Specter made me pay attention to Ridge. He is, in my opinion, the best PA Governor of my lifetime. For President, Perot ’96, and George Bush ’00 & ’04. For Governor, Ed Rendell ’02 & ’06. For President, Obama ’08 & ’12. For Governor, Tom Corbett ’10.

 

As you can see, I have never been a straight ticket voter. Even I being a Centrist is a great story. I grew up in a two parent household, and my maternal grandmother lived with us.

 

My maternal grandmother, who was born in 1913, was a Republican for the obvious reasons.  She was born in a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland, right off of the Sassafras River. The same area that encompassed much of Harriet Tubman’s Underground Railroad. She was an Eisenhower Republican. She viewed the Democratic Party as the racist party. Even after the southern strategy, she still hung with the GOP. Her parents were not far removed from the Emancipation. And as a child she told me, “Republicans freed the slaves and fought for black people.” She moved to Philadelphia where she worked in the houses of rich Jewish families. She loved Arlen Specter but she also liked Frank Rizzo, who at that time was a Democrat. I remember how excited she was when Wilson Goode, another Democrat, got elected; and how very proud she was that she voted for him. She always made it clear that in the general election she voted for the best man for the job.

 

My father was a UAW sheet metal worker, who was heavily involved in the union. He would always say I was wasting time coaching collegiate track. “Just get a good city union job so you can get a good pension,” he would tell me. Even though he was a Democrat he was very much a social conservative. But he was a complete pro-labor Democrat. I’ve always said if my father was alive today, I probably would have ran my first race as a Democrat. When I told him I was voting for Bush ’92, he said I was “hard headed.” And when I voted for Bush ’00 he said, “Boy you’re still hard headed!” I told him I wanted to move back to Philadelphia from King of Prussia and run for City Council as a Republican. He told me to “keep that Republican nonsense out in Montgomery County.” Although he was a Democrat loved Arlene Specter, he always voted for Specter, and so did my entire house. Specter was the only politician that the entire house agreed about.

 

So due to my upbringing it’s natural that I’m Centrist in my political views, growing up in a politically split household.

Common Sense Gun Rerform

Obviously, there is a serious need for gun reform in America. There’s has been enough legislation in front of congress, for this not to be an issue. But in most of these cases it has been the language in the bill, which has been the main reason for being voted down.

The Republicans own both Houses of Congress, so the language has to be something that many of them can take back to their rural districts, where guns are everything from protection to hunting.

The goal of both parties should be working towards a solutions that doesn’t give law enforcement the ability to violate your rights at a later point in history, due to how the gun laws can be interpreted.

Here is some steps we should consider taking;

1. All individuals that own a gun permit should have it updated annually, and it must be accompanied by the following forms; FBI Background Check, Child Abuse Clearance, and a State Police Criminal Check.

2. When applying for a gun licenses for military weapons; an individual should go through the same background check that is required to enter the US Military. We should check anyone’s history before they’re allowed to own a gun to protect themselves in our society, in the same matter that we do, before someone is armed to protect our society.

The idea of the 2nd amendment was for citizens to be armed in order to form militia’s to protect themselves from tyrannical government, at a time when our army was made up of local militias. The framers wanted individuals to quickly be able to assemble into army to protect our nation at a time when we did not have a professional army.

Now that we have a professional army, it’s only fair that an indidvual go through the same background checks that our army goes thru. No one should want any individual with mental health issues, criminal backgrounds, or who are members of hate groups or religious extremist to be able to own a gun. I believe the military background check would satisfy everyone.

This will cover the mental health issue problem from the right and this will give piece of mind to the left. So, my opinion is this, if your background and mental stability acceptable enough to be cleared to hold a gun in defense of this country, than you should be able to own a gun in this country.

No Fly No Buy!!

Many gun owners’ sole reason for clinging to their gun is their distrust in the federal government. Their distrust in a tyrannical government is universally known, especially by members of Congress.

So, why are these members of Congress suggesting legislation that will be viewed by many as a Trojan Horse tactic?  If that is not the intent of the legislation it’s easily perceived as such. These Congressmen and Congresswoman know the NRA and gun owners are going to, and should, outright reject even the mere thought of a “No Fly No Buy” law. For once, we have an issue that even the ACLU and the NRA are on the same page about.

The members of Congress know that “No Fly No Buy” is unacceptable. Especially, now that America has to come face to face with domestic terrorism in the form of radical Islam and the KKK. And we all know that African Americans have been dealing with the domestic terrorism via the KKK for a little over 100 years. This would be a very quick way to take away your rights without due process, if you’re “suspected” of terror activity.

If you understand Eminent Domain then you can see how this law could go in the wrong direction fast. Imagine eminent domain regarding your rights to travel domestically. This could restrict your ability to own a car because someone drove a car into a Masque with explosives in it and killed 70 people who were worshiping because they were anti-Islamic. Or ride public transportation because a suicide bomber blew up a bus in the Latino part of town because they hated Mexicans. If you’re viewed as a terror suspect and the FBI can convince themselves that your activity increases the possibility of you being a terror risk, these are all justified restrictions. Or you can be on the list due to mistaken identity or right name, wrong person.

I would like to ask the “No Fly No Buy” Congressional Caucus, what is the criteria and process to be added or removed from the “No Fly List” as an American living in America? If you expect for this piece of legislation to be taken seriously, put some serious thought into it and make sure it’s Constitutional!

I agree that we need stricter gun laws in America. I agree we need stricter background checks, a waiting period, and some common sense bi-partisan legislation that does not violate individual rights and freedoms granted by the Constitution. The “No Fly No Buy” concept is unconstitutional and unacceptable. And I personally believe that we need gun reform but this is not the way.