Yes, US Immigration Hurts ADOS.

image via iStock

Yes. US immigration hurts ADOS.

I didn’t want to believe it either.

Growing up in the liberal bastion that (used to be) DC, every progressive talking point was on my lips all of the time, regardless of whether it was correct or not.

(For example, I’ve long since stopped believing in socialism).

Being “anti-immigration” is for the “racist redneck fools” that hate brown people. Right?

Being “anti-immigration” means a person is unwise, hasn’t traveled the world, and probably hates Mexican food. Right?

For what it’s worth, I have traveled the world. And loved it! The world is beautiful and other cultures are amazing. I’m in no way advocating for xenophobia or racism. But we have to look at the facts.

US immigration hurts ADOS.

The Facts

Thanks to Twitter user IndyMama8 for her thorough research and links.

The first link that caught my eye was a PDF called “Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men.” In this Harvard study, a 10% increase in new workers — US immigrants — lowered Black employment by 5.9 points and increased Black incarceration by 1.3 points [1].

… What?

It was my first time seeing a correlation between US immigration and Black suffering. Increased incarceration has been a huge scourge on the ADOS community. Arguably, decreased employment directly leads to increased incarceration. If you can’t fend for yourself legally, you’ll fend for yourself illegally. No judgement about it, that’s just how things tend to go.

For years, we’ve had discussions about how crack cocaine lead to crime. Benign neglect lead to poor schools. Police profiling lead to increased wrongful incarceration and death. And yes, all of these things are true.

But hiding behind the screen of “It’s racist to think that” was yet another issue leading to ADOS disenfranchisement. Immigration leads to fewer jobs and reduced wages.

In a 2016 article following his research paper, George Borjas drove the point home again:

This … message might be hard for many Americans to process, but anyone who tells you that immigration doesn’t have any negative effects doesn’t understand how it really works. When the supply of workers goes up, the price that firms have to pay to hire workers goes down. [2]

In his paper, “Neoliberal Immigration Policy and Its Impact on African Americans,” University of Notre Dame professor Stephen Steinberg absolutely lays into US immigration policy for the immense harm it has done to the African American community. Specifically the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which allowed non-white immigrants to legally naturalize in the United States for the first time.

That Act was created on the tail-end of the Black Civil Rights Movement (note the year — 1965), and allowed non-white immigrants to obtain jobs and labor “on the backs” of the ADOS residents that had paved the way [3].

In 2008, Vernon Briggs, a professor at Cornell University, testified before the U.S. Commision on Civil Rights. In that testimony he said:

Because most illegal immigrants overwhelmingly seek work in the low skilled labor market and because the black American labor force is so disproportionately concentrated in this same low wage sector, there is little doubt that there is significant overlap in competition for jobs in this sector of the labor market. Given the inordinately high unemployment rates for low skilled black workers (the highest for all racial and ethnic groups for whom data is collected), it is obvious that the major looser in this competition are low skilled black workers. [4]

The takeaways from research like this — immigration drives wages down. Immigration creates a surplus labor pool so that jobs are harder to get for native-born citizens. When jobs are open, ADOS are usually chosen last and hiring of ADOS is avoided whenever possible.

Again, this isn’t racist diatribe. This is supported by research, data, and by events such as what Dave Seminara described in the LA Times:

This dynamic played out recently at a large bakery in Chicago that supplies buns to McDonald’s. Some 800 immigrant laborers, most of them from Mexico, lost their jobs last year after an audit by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Cloverhill Bakery, owned by Aryzta, a big Swiss food conglomerate, had to hire new workers, 80% to 90% of whom are African American. According to the Chicago Sun Times, the new workers are paid $14 per hour, or $4 per hour more than the (illegal) immigrant workers. [5]

And, again, by Harvard professors Borjas, Grogger, and Hanson in their paper:

After a wave of raids by federal immigration agents on Labor Day weekend, a local chicken processing company called Crider Inc. lost 75% of its mostly Hispanic 900-member work force. … [F]or local African-Americans, the dramatic appearance of federal agents presented an unexpected opportunity. Crider suddenly raised pay at the plant. An advertisement in the weekly Forest-Blade newspaper blared ‘Increased Wages’ at Crider, starting at $7 to $9 an hour more than a dollar above what the company had paid many immigrant workers. (Wall Street Journal, 17 January 2007) [1]

Finally, a fourth paper. Ron Hayduk for The Aspen Institute:

Immigration appears to have, on balance, contributed somewhat to the declining fortunes of low-skilled workers, although the scale of the estimated effects varies from study to study. Consequently, while they may help boost urban economies- and the comparative advantage of the U.S. economy more generally as well as keep down the rate of inflation-they may also be contributing to heightened inequalities between groups and the degradation of work more generally (Fainstein, 1994)

Similarly, although studies show immigration has no negative impacts for black workers taken as a whole, less-skilled black workers and black workers in high immigration areas with stagnant economies are negatively affected. … In high immigration areas … native black wages often do not keep pace with the rising wage trends that immigration brings for Anglos and Hispanics (Enchautegui 1993). [6]

Accusations that ADOS are an “Anti-Immigrant Group”

As I write this, liberal media outlets that know that being anti-immigrant is “racist” are scrambling to brand ADOS as an “anti-immigrant group.”

While we don’t always cite the facts and figures in our conversations about immigration (and some of us do, but even then) we feel and see the effects that uncontrolled immigration has had on our communities.

We take a lower-paying job and see those high wage jobs that “couldn’t be filled by anyone but foreign labor” have been taken by Asian and Indian immigrants.

Or, our cousins have been out of work for months because the local factory no longer hires people like them.

The heritage in our communities is disappearing, because without capital and with rising home taxes, we’re forced to move away from the neighborhood where we were born and a grandmother bought her first house. When we go back, the neighborhood is booming — with white, Asian, and Latino faces.

African-Americans (specifically ADOS) are usually told to stay in solidarity with interests outside of our own. And we have. For years. But as our wages decrease and our jobs leave and our neighborhoods become unrecognizable after generations of being the same, we find that that solidarity is not reciprocated.

Yes, American Descendents of Slavery is a label partially meant to exclude. It is very specific, especially as ADOS came about in connection with demands for Reparations. And it is partially meant to exclude voluntary African immigrants from this claim as well.

Is this unjust? The debates rage back and forth. But the ADOS arguments can be summed up in the phrase,

I’m tired of being your mule.

“Why shouldn’t ADOS support voluntary African immigrants in their claim?” Well, why should we? As has often been repeated online “Pan-Africanism” remains a myth. Voluntary African immigrants rarely support us as we have been pressured to support them.

“Why do ADOS hate immigrants? Are they agents for Russia? Trying to tear the country apart?” Again, we do not hate immigrants. We hate what we have seen in our neighborhoods and with our jobs. We hate a system of government policies that continue an established pattern of benign neglect, prioritizing the rights of people who haven’t gotten here yet over people that have been here for generations. And no we are not agents for Russia. And we love this country and wish for its prosperity as a whole. We just wish that the country wanted that for us, and, beyond wishing, have finally moved to action.

Solutions for the Immigration Problem

“Immigrants are OWED by the US for imperialist policies that have DESTROYED these countries!”

Hey. I’m the last person that will stand between someone and their justice claim against the United States. The US and other organizations such as The World Bank and the IMF have in the past and continue today to enact horrific policy against the Global South.

However,

None of this responsibility lies at the feet of ADOS, no matter how many times you try to lay it there.

Immigration to this country plays into US imperialism. It doesn’t fight it. Lowered wages = lowered costs. Neoliberalist policy demands the most return for the lowest investment possible.

That’s why US companies start civil wars in Latin American countries to destabilize governments… so they can have an easier time planting and harvesting bananas [7][8].

That’s why US companies seize water sources in places like Mexico and Kenya and make it illegal for citizens there to access them [9][10].

That’s why the US fought for “free trade” deals like NAFTA that enabled US corporations to flood developing countries with cheap goods [11][12][13].

For those in the “solidarity” justice community, they’ve probably come across those three facts already.

An honest activist, seeing that US imperialism destroys countries internationally, would focus on ending the practices that permit this.

But, a lot of the activists out here right now are not honest. And they’re very anti-Black (native Black Americans).

It’s enough for them to continue to demand more labor and resources of ADOS, to ask us to keep fighting for immigration, to ignore the common threat against our own best interests, and to give up opportunities and community in service to the global interests.

It seems past time for the United States to close ranks. Stop admitting any immigrants, at all. “Legal” or “not legal.” And yes, I’m aware of how severe that sounds.

However, the nation has its priorities all mixed up.

Native-born citizens are suffering here. Infrastructure is crumbling and outdated.

We should examine birth-right citizenship for foreigners. Again. I know you hear that and think looney town.

But if you think about it, why does a foreign national only need to be born here to gain access to the country’s entire resources and support? While native-born citizens are still scrambling to try to survive?

Stabilize the country’s economy with people that are from here. Build up communities. Hire people that have roots in the United States to fix and update the infrastructure. And stop using “we need foreign born scientists and technicians” as an excuse. You should have thought of that before. Meanwhile, you can invest in training native citizens now to try to catch up.

And, at the risk of doing labor for people that couldn’t give a f*** about me…

I do think that US imperialism needs to end. Curtail and reprimand corporations for land seizures and more horrific abuses. Close their factories down, seize their assets and use that money as recompense to ruined international communities. And end “Free Trade.”

[1] Immigration and the Economic Status of African-American Men by George Borjas, Jeffrey Grogger, and Gordon Hanson. Retrieved 4–17–19. Economica. https://sites.hks.harvard.edu/fs...

[2] Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers by George Borjas. Retrieved 4–17–19. Politico Magazine. Yes, Immigration Hurts American Workers

[5] Liberals say immigration enforcement is racist, but the group most likely to benefit from it is black men by Dave Seminara. Retrieved 4–17–19. Los Angeles Times. Liberals say immigration enforcement is racist, but the group most likely to benefit from it is black men

[10] The End of Poverty? dir. Philippe Diaz. Released 2015 by Cinema Libre Studio. THE END OF POVERTY?

[12] U.S. Corn Subsidies Said to Damage Mexico by Elizabeth Becker. Retrieved 4–17–19. The New York Times. U.S. Corn Subsidies Said to Damage Mexico


Originally published at https://adospandr.quora.com on April 17, 2019.

ADOS Politics + Reparations 2020

Written by

Examining ADOS Politics and Reparations 2020. On Twitter at ashscheherazade (ADOS + my shamanism) and BlackPayDay (wealth creation and nurturing).