It’s an old ploy of anti-immigration advocates to pit people of color against one another to distract from people working together and understanding one another. Numbers USA is dedicated to sending out misleading and inaccurate messages about immigration and exploiting economic distress. Here’s their latest ad:
Cheap labor and exploited workers have been at the core of any economic boom in our history, and also the first blamed when there is economic uncertainty. As migrants, Black people faced discrimination and disdain when they were forced to leave their homes in the south during the Great Migration, in which an estimated six million people migrated to cities in the north and west to escape oppressive conditions of the south’s Jim Crow caste system between the 1910s and 1970s. At the time, no one was looking at the employers and companies that depressed wages and denied workers benefits. They blamed the workers.
The current economic downturn has set back entire communities, forcing families across the country to retrench and further dimming many individuals’ prospects of finding a job that pays a living wage. But immigrants are not at the root of economic downturn. On the one hand the United States supports free-trade agreements that eviscerate local domestic economies and Latin American economies, encouraging the flow of migrants to the U.S. On the other hand, the U.S. denies rights to those immigrants effectively creating a new “permanent underclass.” There is an opportunity for documented and undocumented workers to fight to create a domestic economy not built on exploitation of workers or competition for low wages. For documented people, supporting the documenting of undocumented workers and together fighting for a living wage is the way to go, not just morally, but for the benefit of all.