Black American Leadership Alliance Mobilizing Against Immigration Reform » ADL Blogs
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June 6, 2013 18

Black American Leadership Alliance Mobilizing Against Immigration Reform

A group made up of long­time anti-immigrant activists claim­ing that immi­gra­tion reform will hurt the African-American com­mu­nity is work­ing on a num­ber of fronts in oppo­si­tion to the Senate’s immi­gra­tion reform bill. The group, the Black Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Alliance (BALA), recently changed its name from the African Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Coun­cil (AALC). black-american-leadership-alliance

Using its orig­i­nal name, the group held a press con­fer­ence in April announc­ing its oppo­si­tion to the Senate’s immi­gra­tion reform bill. BALA’s mem­bers, such as activists Frank Mor­ris and Leah Durant, are closely tied to anti-immigrant groups founded by or with the help of racist John Tan­ton, the archi­tect of the modern-day anti-immigrant move­ment. Mor­ris cur­rently sits on the boards of the Cen­ter for Immi­gra­tion Stud­ies (CIS) and the Fed­er­a­tion for Amer­i­can Immi­gra­tion Reform (FAIR), both founded by Tan­ton, and another anti-immigrant front group, Pro­gres­sives for Immi­gra­tion Reform (PFIR). Durant is the exec­u­tive direc­tor of PFIR and is a for­mer attor­ney with the Immi­gra­tion Reform Law Insti­tute (IRLI), the legal arm of FAIR. 

Since its ini­tial press con­fer­ence, the group issued an open let­ter on June 3 to the Senate’s bi-partisan “Gang of Eight,” the Con­gres­sional Black Cau­cus and sen­a­tors from states with high rates of black unem­ploy­ment urg­ing them to acknowl­edge the “dam­ag­ing impact mass immi­gra­tion has on low-skilled work­ers” and rec­og­nize “the harm­ful impact that S. 744 would have on low skilled work­ers, par­tic­u­larly those in the black community.”

Many of the sig­na­to­ries of the let­ter attended and spoke at the group’s press con­fer­ence in April. One of the sig­na­to­ries, Tom Broad­wa­ter, the national chair of the group Americans4Work, appeared as a guest on a webi­nar hosted by the anti-immigrant group Num­ber­sUSA on June 4. Dur­ing this call, Broad­wa­ter stated, “We need our jobs, we need our peo­ple, our Amer­i­can cit­i­zens to have jobs. Legal immi­grants, ille­gal immi­grants, they’re all bad as far as we are con­cerned for America.”

On July 15, BALA is orga­niz­ing a “DC March for Jobs” rally in Wash­ing­ton, DC, intended “to help to stop Con­gress’ amnesty push.” BALA’s web­site says that the group will “demand that our lead­ers reject amnesty, and pass immi­gra­tion poli­cies that put black Amer­i­cans back to work.” It remains to be seen how many activists BALA can mobi­lize for the event.

The talk­ing points and tac­tics BALA is using in an attempt to derail the Senate’s immi­gra­tion reform bill are no dif­fer­ent from the broader anti-immigrant move­ment. Through­out its his­tory, the move­ment has cre­ated front groups opposed to immi­gra­tion reform, claim­ing that it will have a neg­a­tive effect on minorities.

  • Matt

    This is so wrong. Peo­ple should stand *up* for each other, not *against* each other..


    they are hav­ing us fight over crumbs…same on the lazy blacks!

    • Jane Smith

      What? That doesn’t even make sense.!


    Their just hav­ing us col­ored kids fight over crumbs. I am shamed at my African brother who refuse to see that. How their are still mem­o­rized by a White Amer­i­can soci­ety is beyond me. Their just drib­bling out free­doms and civil lib­er­ties to delay the inevitable. Quell out the fire and have us minori­ties fight amongst are selves. Its 5,000 years since G-d, Blessed Is He made an exam­ple to all the world on how to han­dle Slav­ery and Oppres­sion in Egypt when it came the Jews. Get a grip peo­ple due you really think it takes that long to real­ize your G-d give birth rights of Free­doms. You really thing they ever going to treat you as an Equal. Your free­doms and rights don’t belong to WHITIE for you to beg or fight for. There to be enjoyed!

    • Anthony

      When Obama took office he promised “hope and change”. What he neglected to men­tion is that he would leave Black Amer­i­cans hop­ing to find jobs, and beg­ging for change! Sorry to put it so bluntly but as a con­ser­v­a­tive I saw right through the sham that is his admin­is­tra­tion. Black and White Amer­i­cans need to unite on com­mon grounds and fight the mad­ness of legal­ized amnesty. Help “Amer­i­cans” first, that is the mantra of we con­ser­v­a­tives, remem­ber Repub­li­cans brought civil rights, The Democ­rats brought the KKK. Switch to the Tea Party and fight this mad­ness there is plenty of room on our side for Black Amer­i­cans, and despite what the MSNBC par­rots we are not racist. We wel­come all races Black, White, Asian, Latino, etc. We sim­ply do not believe in the rogue cabal that our gov­ern­ment has become, and we choose to fight and take back our coun­try from cor­rup­tion. Join our fight you would be sur­prised how much you have in com­mon with our hopes and aspi­ra­tions for Amer­i­cans of all races.

  • I think Israel needs more diver­sity too.

  • Richard J. Hughes

    I fully sup­port your efforts, how­ever this bill does not only hurt the Black com­mu­nity. The cur­rent bill will encour­age employ­ers to hire these immi­grants over all U.S. Cit­i­zens. As they are not allowed to be cov­ered under the afford­able Care Act, the employ­ers will not have to offer them health care, nor will they be forced to pay a fine for up to 13 years.

  • TheOther­Rosie

    I strongly rec­om­mend that the Black Amer­i­can Lead­er­ship Alliance look into the effects of amnesty for ille­gal aliens in the 1980s, & the fact that it did not curb ille­gal immi­gra­tion in any­way. Obama is say­ing that he’s low­ered ille­gal immi­gra­tion, which is true when you con­sider that he’s the rea­son there are so few jobs for unskilled labor in Amer­ica. If you want to fight against amnesty for ille­gal aliens, research & find num­bers for the 1980’s amnesty for ille­gal aliens. It didn’t work then & it will not work now.

    • ErikKen­gaard

      Immi­gra­tion helpe the 1%. It’s all about money. There is a mas­sive amount of money to be made by agri­cul­ture, hos­pi­tal­ity indus­try, edu­ca­tion, tech indus­try, et al, with costs exter­nal­ized and borne by the mid­dle class. That is why over a bil­lion is spent on lob­by­ing.
      See “Our Mas­sively One-Sided Immi­gra­tion Debate” by John Car­ney @ (3/26)
      See “Untan­gling the webs of immi­gra­tion lob­by­ing” by Lee Drut­man and Alexan­der Fur­nas at The Sun­light Foun­da­tion (3/25)

  • TheOther­Rosie

    Ask every­one you can reach, to call, write, email, the pres­i­dent, their sen­a­tors & their rep­re­sen­ta­tives. United we stand, strength in num­bers is the only way to win.

    • ErikKen­gaard

      You can tweet the sen­ate Num­ber­sUSA has the handles

  • deancw

    I con­stantly use latin main­te­nance work­ers for work that black amer­i­cans should be doing. I can assure you that latins are tak­ing jobs that should go to the black com­mu­nity. dean c wha­ley, los ange­les, ca.

  • Doug Burch

    not all of us can afford to go to Wash­ing­ton it may be a good idea to ask for peo­ple to go to their local gov­ern­ment offices and protest on the same day you will get a bet­ter turn out I am a white 54 year old male so as you can see its not only blacks that will be hurt by this its all Amer­i­cans lets use this to unite as many Amer­i­cans as pos­si­ble the gov­ern­ment has kept us divided long enough.

  • B Thorn­ton

    Messrs. Curtiss-Lusher and Foxman,

    I am a black amer­i­can mother with two unem­ployed young black men in my house­hold. One col­lege edu­cated, the other with a HS diploma.

    For years, I have thought that ADL sup­ported the Black com­mu­nity also when it comes to hate, but now ADL is sup­port­ing the latino and euro­pean immi­grants tak­ing jobs from our amer­i­can boys.

    They have their own coun­tries gen­tle­men. We have our kids and our needs.

    Stop sup­port­ing ille­gal aliens and highly skilled immi­grants and give our boys, espe­cially our black boys a chance to get a decent, well pay­ing job.

    Thank you

    • Anthony

      I am glad that Black Amer­i­cans are finally start­ing to real­ize, that this admin­is­tra­tion is sell­ing them out for votes from the ille­gal alien pop­u­la­tion. I am sorry about your sit­u­a­tion I really am.

      It is sit­u­a­tions like this that unite White, and Black Amer­i­cans despite our dif­fer­ences in opin­ion. Amer­i­cans come first, “no amnesty”.

  • wall­street­bulls

    worry not my Lib­eral black broth­ers, when immi­grant over­load causes you an eco­nomic hard­ship, Democ­rats in DC will pass more wel­fare dis­tri­b­u­tion laws.

  • eph4_15

    This Arti­cle — along with MOST of the Main Stream Media’s Less than Objec­tive Report­ing of ILLEGAL Immi­gra­tion — This Arti­cle is, as USUAL will­fully Deceit­ful. Choos­ing mis­lead­ing words to stir up emo­tional sup­port of many who will not even real­ize you are talk­ing about ILLEGAL ALIENS, NOT the Legal Immi­grants you Imply. You are NOT being intel­lec­tu­ally hon­est, and GOD sees into your heart. He knows every time you lie & cheat your read­ers of the Truth.

    The orga­ni­za­tions and Indi­vid­u­als you slan­der, are NOT “Anti-Immigrant”, They ARE against ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION, as are MOST AMERICANS, in SPITE of your ROTTEN attempts to Curry favor for them by Plead­ing the Race card. Your ploys are dis­gust­ing. If you pre­fer Tyranny to Free­dom, Go move to Rus­sia, China, North Korea, or Iran, but Spare us of the garbage. We pre­fer Free­dom, in Amer­ica, and will have it back. It may take us 50 years to undo the dam­age you and your friends have done to her, but if God is will­ing, Amer­ica, will again be a Free and Pros­per­ous Demo­c­ra­tic Republic.

  • ErikKen­gaard

    Reported on News­Ninja that orga­nized groups of left wing Twit­ter sub­scribers recently bom­barded Twit­ter with com­plaints of “harass­ment” to tar­get and
    shut down the account of the Black Alliance ( BALA, DC
    March for Jobs)