Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When Liberals Sided with U.S. Workers

Coretta Scott King’s Role in Stopping the 1991 Push to Allow Hiring of Illegals

The current debate over “comprehensive immigration reform” pits the interests of U.S. workers against those of foreign-born workers. Although much emphasis has been given to the split within conservative ranks over this issue, not so long ago the split was on the left, with many prominent civil rights leaders viewing immigration control as a necessary protection for American workers, especially minority workers.

Before the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, the employment of illegal workers was explicitly permitted by statute. A ban on hiring illegal aliens, known as "employer sanctions", was the key component of the 1986 grand bargain: Amnesty in exchange for promises of future enforcement. But once the amnesty was underway, opponents of enforcement reneged on the deal and launched a campaign to repeal employer sanctions and once again permit the employment of illegal aliens.

In 1991 Coretta Scott King, widow of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., stopped repeal with a letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who had just announced plans to introduce legislation abolishing employer sanctions. Her letter, written on behalf of the Black Leadership Forum, expressed concern that advocates of repeal were using claims of discrimination against foreign workers as a guise “to introduce cheap labor into the U.S. workforce”, and offered to report to the senator on the “devastating impact the repeal would have on the economic conditions of un- and semi-skilled workers – a disproportionate number of who are African American and Hispanic.”

The Center for Immigration Studies report on this incident, including a copy of Mrs. King's letter, can be found  here

Among those who supported the employment of illegal immigrants was Cecilia Munoz of the National Council of La Raza, who wrote a 1990 report calling for the repeal of employer sanctions just four years after their enactment. (The report is online  here) Munoz is now in charge of immigration policy at the White House.

The above is a press release from from Center for Immigration Studies. 1522 K St. NW, Suite 820,  Washington, DC 20005, (202) 466-8185 fax: (202) 466-8076.  Email: center@cis.org. CONTACT: Marguerite Telford mrt@cis.org (202) 466-8185.  The Center for Immigration Studies is an independent research institution which examines the impact of immigration on the United States.  The Center for Immigration Studies is not affiliated with any other organization

At least 20 terror suspects have British passports torn up in security crackdown to stop them returning to UK

At least 20 terror suspects have had their British passports torn up on national security grounds to stop them entering the country, it emerged today.

In the last two years alone Home Secretary Theresa May has stripped British citizenship from 16 individuals considered to pose a threat to the UK.

Rules in place for a decade allow ministers to act to revoke passports in a bid to target the so-called ‘enemy within’.

The Home Office today defended the policy from claims it was equivalent to ‘medieval exile’, insisting the British citizenship was ‘a privilege not a right’.

Officials said that from 2002 to September last year 20 citizens were stripped of their passports. A report by the Bureaux for Investigative Journalism, published in The Independent today, suggested the number is 21, of which only two have successfully appealed.

At least five of the 16 to lose their citizenship under the coalition were born in Britain, the report said. One man had lived in the UK for five decades.

A Home Office spokesman said: ‘Citizenship is a privilege not a right. The Home Secretary has the power to remove citizenship from individuals where she considers it is conducive to the public good. An individual subject to deprivation can appeal to the courts.’

However, concern has been expressed that after losing British citizenship suspects have been targeted, and in some cases killed, in US drone attacks.

Simon Hughes, the Lib Dem deputy leader, is to write to Mrs May about the scale of the threat posed to Britain.

‘There was clearly always a risk when the law was changed seven years ago that the executive could act to take citizenship away in circumstances that were more frequent or more extensive than those envisaged by ministers at the time,’ Mr Hughes told The Independent.

‘I’m concerned at the growing number of people who appear to have lost their right to citizenship. I plan to write to the Home Secretary and the Home Affairs Select Committee to ask for their assessment of the situation, and for a review of whether the act is working as intended.’

Two men involved - Bilal al-Berjawi, a British-Lebanese citizen, and British-born friend Mohamed Sakr, who also held Egyptian nationality – travelled to Somalia in 2009.  They are said to have become involved with Islamist militant group al-Shabaab, which has links to al-Qa’ida. Both rose to senior positions in the organisation.

They were stripped of their British nationalities by Mrs May in 2010 and were killed in separate US airstrikes.

Saghir Hussain, Sakr’s former UK solicitor said: ‘It appears that the process of deprivation of citizenship made it easier for the US to then designate Mr Sakr as an enemy combatant, to whom the UK owes no responsibility whatsoever.’

Gareth Peirce, a leading human rights lawyer, said the use of the powers ‘smacked of medieval exile, just as cruel and just as arbitrary’.


No comments:

Post a Comment