CBC Blasts GOP for Attempt to Generate Tension Between Blacks and Immigrants

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver tells them to leave the Willie Lynch model of immigration reform at the door.

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

Julianne Hing of ColorLines is reporting that on Tuesday, members of the Congressional Black Caucus, led by Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, lambasted Republicans during a House Immigration Subcommittee hearing for trying to generate tension between black and immigrant communities in an effort to pass anti-immigrant bills that would serve neither community.

The committee's newly appointed leaders -- Reps. Elton Gallegly, Steve King and Lamar Smith -- are longtime anti-immigration hardliners who gathered folks for a panel called "Making Immigration Work for American Minorities," in which House members debated the impact that immigrants had on high unemployment and depressed wages in communities of color. Gallegly, King and Smith argued that immigrants drove down wages and were primarily responsible for the unemployment crisis in black communities.

"I am concerned by the majority's attempt to manufacture tension between African Americans and immigrant communities. It seems as though they would like for our communities to think about immigration in terms of 'us versus them,' and I reject that notion,' Cleaver said in his statement, the AP reported. Other CBC members, including Rep. John Conyers, spoke up against the GOP's tactics to divide communities of color, which he called "abhorrent and repulsive."

Abhorrent and repulsive works for us. The audacity. The same people who claim to care about the interests of black folks are the same folks passing the laws that are decimating our communities. There is a job crisis, not because of immigrants, but because the economy has been driven into the ground by the mortgage crisis, including predatory lending that targeted black and brown consumers. While we're literally out on the street and the government is cutting any and every service that poor folks need to survive, the GOP wants us to join forces with them to put immigrants out in the street? Not bloody likely.

Read more at ColorLines.

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