Who Said Blacks Don't Support Immigration Reform?

A civil rights organization, concerned about "a cynical attempt to pit two vulnerable minority communities against one another," is spreading the word about new data.

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Thousands demonstrate at an immigration-reform rally in New Jersey. (John Moore/Getty Images)

(The Root) -- In findings released Wednesday, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights presented poll results that the organization says counter myths about negative African-American attitudes toward immigration reform.

The national poll of more than 800 African-American likely voters, conducted by Lake Research Partners, found 66 percent support for an immigration-reform proposal that includes a road map to citizenship. That support held up after participants heard both anti- and pro-immigration-reform messages (including discussion of the idea that immigrants would "take jobs away from African Americans").

On a call with reporters, Leadership Conference President and CEO Wade Henderson took on the perception that African Americans believe they compete with immigrants for jobs and wages and do not support immigration reform, arguing that it hinged on a "troubling double standard."

"When nativists sow this sentiment among whites, it tends to be discounted and rightly treated as extremism," Henderson said. "But when they sow it among African Americans, the resulting sentiment tends to be overvalued and treated as an essential part of the discussion -- instead of being recognized as a cynical attempt to pit two vulnerable minority communities against one another. We're here today to put this controversy to rest, to show how African Americans take pride in our nation's democratic values, our diversity and our ingenuity."

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