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Illegal Immigration: The new civil rights issue, or not?
Posted by: McQ on Monday, May 01, 2006

Which side do you take on this? Interestingly the first quote is from a conservative black organization, Project 21:
"The amnesty issue is being distorted. This is not about the rights of people here legally or of equal rights — it is about people who are here illegally wanting everyone to ignore the fact that they broke the law to get into this country," said Project 21 member Geoffrey Moore. "The civil rights movement was about some American citizens being treated worse than others. The rallies happening now are about lawbreaking non-citizens wanting to be given the same rights and benefits of those who came to America through the proper immigration channels."


"If illegal immigrants want to remain in America and enjoy the benefits of liberty, proper legal processing is required," said Project 21 member Deneen Moore. "The civil rights movement was a fight for justice and equality. Illegal immigrants are fighting the rule of law."
On the other side:
Civil rights is a common theme of amnesty proponents. For example, at a recent rally in Atlanta, a sign mimicking the famous words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. read "We have a Dream, Too." Partha Banerjee of the New Jersey Immigration Policy Network said in an interview with "(T)his is really a new civil right movement reborn in this country... This is not just about the immigrants. It's about human and civil rights, it's about all marginalized, underprivileged people in the United States." Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), who introduced legislation to grant permanent residency status to long-term illegal aliens, said on "Democracy Now" radio: "My bill attempted to craft this as a civil rights issue... I believe (amnesty) is a civil rights question."
As I understand it, this is a very hot topic within the black community. And, as I further understand it, most blacks seem to agree with the Project 21 interpretation and not Rep. Lee's. In fact, as the cited press release points out, Lee was only able to convince 9 other Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) members to sign on to the bill.
Black columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson has noted: "The CBC and civil rights leaders tread lightly on the immigration rights battle... They are loath to equate their movement with the civil rights battles of the 1960s."
I tend to come down on the side of Project 21 and those black leaders who can't find it in themselves to equate this with the civil rights movement of the '60s.

That's not to say I or those black leaders don't have both sympathy and empathy for illegal immigrants. But, in all honesty, we're not talking about a civil rights issue here.

Consider the term, "civil rights".
The rights belonging to an individual by virtue of citizenship, especially the fundamental freedoms and privileges guaranteed by the 13th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and by subsequent acts of Congress, including civil liberties, due process, equal protection of the laws, and freedom from discrimination.
The entire focus of the civil rights movement was the fact that African-Americans, while being citizens and entitled to the same civil rights as any other citizen, were, in fact, being denied them.

How in the world does that concept transfer to people who aren't even citizens and who are here illegally? It would be like the people of Poland declaring that their right to travel at will without a passport or visa into the US and stay as long as they wish was a "civil rights" issue and it was our job to accomodate them. We'd laugh in their face. We'd also have them on the first thing smoking to Krakow.

Yet here we see a certain segement of our leadership all but willing to grant the "civil rights" premise. While I think a compelling human rights argument can be made on the one side, I think equally compelling "right of national sovereignty" and "rule of law" arguments can also be made on the other.

But the one thing this is not is a civil rights issue.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

I’m with McQ, this isn’t about "Civil Rights" or at least the 1960’s concept. Blacks had a right to vote, to serve on juries, to own property, and the like, whites were denying them God-Given rights... Illegal aliens do not have these rights and we are restoring nothing.... there’s nothing to restore. I owe Mikhail or Manuel human decency and Christian charity, no more no less. I don’t owe them citizenship or amnesty or anything else.
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Big surprise for me to say this - it is not a civil rights issue, for all the reasons enumerated, and a nice example to boot.

Speaking of Polish immigrants,
I saw video of Polish flags at a rally today, and really wished someone had gone down to take a picture to see if Jan Kowol was carrying the flag, or Juan Herrero was carrying it, hired because Jan was too ’lazy’ and wouldn’t work for such a low wage. (snark snark)
Written By: looker
URL: http://
The civil rights movement was about some American citizens being treated worse than others. The rallies happening now are about lawbreaking non-citizens wanting to be given the same rights and benefits of those who came to America through the proper immigration channels
Written By: Mike
URL: http://
This is a civil rights issue, but the shoe is on the other foot.

This is about the rights of those who are here legally.
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
This is one more issue that the Democrat Party is in opposition to the bulk of black voters, the others being school choice and gay marriage rights. Blacks are on the whole often quite conservative socially and when someone brings up civil rights in regards to an area that has nothing to do with it, that tends to annoy blacks I know and read.

Civil Rights are rights granted by law or by our creator, and neither of those apply to citizenship in one country or another. Noone has a right to come to a country illegally, to work outside the system, or to be given citizenship simply because they demand it, are here in great numbers, and are a potentially useful voting bloc.
Written By: Christopher Taylor
If there is downward preassure on wages due to immigration Which group is hurt most? Blacks. And if there is more strain on social services due to unlimited immigration then who is hurt most? Blacks. This is an issue that could cause widepread realignment among Black Americans.
However, we know that wont happen because the Republicans are the stupid party.
Written By: kyle N
I’m afraid the left is in the process of turning the term "civil rights" into a generic catchphrase basically meaning "something you should give us just because we want it and we’re willing to shame you into giving it".

This is not new. The typical leftist today literally cannot tell you the actual meaning of the word "fascist". To them, it just means "I think you’re mean". They want simultaneously for the word to have its old connotation, vis a vis Hitler, along with the new ability to apply it whenever they want.

Similarly, they want the term "civil rights" to retain its connotations as something that the powers-that-be-white-male-oppressive-establishment won’t give to someone they like. And they simultaneously want to apply it to anything they think their allies should have.

If we can’t get the MSM to vigorously defend the actual meaning of the term, then the left will succeed in this shift in meaning. The average person in ten or twenty years will no longer understand what the term "civil rights" means, but they’ll know the left is labelling somebody as a deserving group, and those who won’t pony up as oppressors.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I think the greater movement here is one of transnationalism, where national sovereignty and citizenship are bad things to be eliminated.

What better than to define such concepts out of existence?
Written By: equitus
URL: http://
If there is downward preassure on wages due to immigration Which group is hurt most? Blacks. And if there is more strain on social services due to unlimited immigration then who is hurt most? Blacks.
I would have thought the answer to both questions was the poor.
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
Another touchy-feely catchphrase that the left has drained of all meaning it might ever have had is ’social justice.’
Written By: Achillea
Finally, the first issue to unite black and white since 9/11. Remember, how we all felt like family after the attack?
If african americans and the despicable gringos do not unite on this, we might as well give them California. Hey, now that’s an idea.....
Written By: Debra
URL: http://
If african americans and the despicable gringos do not unite on this, we might as well give them California. Hey, now that’s an idea.....
Yup. Even with the bad shape the world’s number 5 economy is in now I would bet that if it went back to Mexico they’d manage to make it worse. I mean, they’ve done so well with Mexico and all.
Written By: McQ
Look at it another way

1. The Blacks did NOT have voting rights before the Civil War and they had very limited voting rights before the Civil rights movement. Were the blacks then "Citizens without/with limited voting rights" or were they non-Citizens ??

2. If the Blacks were "Citizens without/limited voting rights", how can they even be termed "Citizens" without having the right to vote ?? Or having their right to vote limited ?

3. If the Blacks were not Citizens, all they did was fight for their "Citizenship", didn’t they ?? If so, isn’t the present situation similar to the Civil Rights Movement ??
Written By: Ivan
URL: http://
Ivan ... they weren’t recognized as citizens before the Civil War so they weren’t entitled to voting rights.

After the war when they were Constitutionallly recognized as citizens many of their civil rights, including voting, were still denied by the white majority. That is why they had a ’civil rights’ issue - because voting is a civil right granted to citizens.
If so, isn’t the present situation similar to the Civil Rights Movement ??
No. Illegals are not, nor have they ever been, citizens. They don’t enjoy any civil rights since civil rights are only granted to citizens. Hence those without citizenship can’t be deprived of something to which they’re not entitled to begin with.

Written By: McQ
Essential to any civil right must is that it originate in the law. There can be no civil right to violate the law. Illegal immigration is a criminal offense (though not for a first violation a felony) under 8 United States Code Sec. 1325. Therefore, there can be no civil right to illegal immigraton. A fundamental principle of law is that one cannot profit from wrongdoing. To allow illegal aliens to obtain permanent status or citizenship in preference to anyone who has applied for entry and is on a waiting list would allow the illegal immigrant to profit from wrongdoing.n
Written By: William E. Garland
URL: http://
Why don’t you walk through Los Angeles?

Look around. Stop at MacDonalds - only altino
kids. Look at a city crew at work. Do you see
anybody but latinos? Stop at a construction site.
Oh, you see a couple of black guys. What do you
bet they mexicans?

I am not a racist. I am sharing with you my
experience in Los Angeles. Anybody can see this.

The porblem is that it is difficult to compete
with so many illegals. Let us face it, illegals
will work for less. And they keep walking over the
border, and there is no stopping them.

I can see your problem with our president:
he gets two great black guys into his cabinet like no other president on one hand. On the other hand he is not about to close the border.

I would say this: you know how life has been here
for the last 20 years, and you had some control
over it. How will it be if we cannot slow down
the illegals? That is a big question. Or is it?

Stop and think. Is there anything you can do?

Good Luck. Eugene

Written By: Eugene Pererwa
URL: http://
Being a African-American and knowing the struggle of my people, from day one in the USA. I am absolutely shocked how people refer to ILLEGAL immigration as that of the African-American’s struggle. We were American citizens ILLEGALS aren’t American citizens. We have been in America since the 1600s WE are citizens. We were beaten, enslaved, given unfair treatment. Now, the civil rights was to give us freedom. Many African - Americans fought with peace not violence. A Illegal immigrant has broke the law. Making that a civil crime. Wich would be more like a CIVIL CRIME Movement. I am all for immigration, America will cease to exist without immigration. Just, that Illegal immigration is not what AMERICA needs nor, in the best interest of her people.
Written By: Tyrone’ McFinn
URL: http://

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