Friday, September 14, 2007

Boycott by Illegal Immigrants Could Fuel Tensions with African-Americans

September 14, 2007
for Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Bramwell

Planned National Boycott by Illegal Immigrants Could Fuel Greater Tensions with African-Americans

Political Analyst Warns in His Forthcoming Book

The Latino Challenge to Black America

A spokesperson for Mexicanos Sin Fronteras (Mexicans Without Borders) says that his group will call for a national boycott of employers and businesses on October 9. The group wants to send the message that illegal immigrants don’t take jobs from Americans and indeed are productive and law abiding workers. Many American workers, and in particular African-American workers, reject that message.

Author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson details the anger and hostility that many African-American community activists and rank and file workers express toward illegal immigrants in the workplace in his forthcoming book The Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation Between African-Americans and Hispanics. They vehemently contend that illegal immigrants do take jobs from blacks, especially poor, unskilled young blacks.

Hutchinson assesses the impact of illegal immigration on jobs and the economy in black communities. "Illegal immigration has touched a raw nerve among many blacks, "says Hutchinson, "they are absolutely convinced that they contribute to crime, violence and chronic unemployment in black communities. Hutchinson also closely examines the views of immigrant rights groups. They are just as vehement in disputing the notion that undocumented workers have created the economic ills in black communities, and indeed in American society. Hutchinson says the polar opposite views of many blacks and immigrant rights groups on illegal immigration could result in even greater tension and conflict between the two groups. He tells why and how the planned October 9th boycott could add to that tension between blacks and Latinos.

Interview Earl Ofari Hutchinson 323-296-6331

"The job loss to blacks that they attribute to illegal immigration is as much perception as slight reality. However, when the perception becomes a widely-held public belief and is continually repeated as fact, it soon takes hold in public opinion. The sensitivity of blacks over jobs and illegal immigration has made even top black civil rights leaders tiptoe lightly around on the issue. "

Excerpt from Chapter 9, "Illegal Immigrants versus Black Workers," in the Latino Challenge to Black America: Towards a Conversation between African-Americans and Hispanics

(Middle Passage Press, Los Angeles , October 2007).

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