On this day in 1996, civil rights icon Barbara Jordan died just weeks before Congress and then-President Bill Clinton were to advance their reforms to illegal and legal immigration, focusing on protecting poor and working-class Americans from waves of job killings and wage-crushing mass immigration.
Jordan, a Democrat, became part of the civil rights movement after becoming the first black American state senator in the nation since 1883 and the first black American woman elected to the Texas State Senate. Later, in 1972, Jordan became the first black American woman to preside over a legislative body in the United States when she was elected president pro tempore of the Texas State Senate.
That same year, Jordan was elected to Congress. Her election marked the first time a black American woman would represent the state of Texas in Washington, DC
“For Martin Luther King, Jr., he fought for jobs and fair wages for African Americans, and that was what Barbara Jordan did,” NumbersUSA President Roy Beck told Breitbart News.
Following President George HW Bush’s 1990 immigration law, which opened the door to today’s mass immigration levels, Jordan chaired the U.S. Immigration Reform Commission.
“We’re thinking that 1965 had restarted mass immigration, but it was the 1990s that just closed the door to upward mobility for all Americans in the underclass,” Beck said. “It was just a abandonment of the underclass.”
The Jordan Commission’s recommendations were about a single mission – to serve the national interest. Within this framework, the Commission recommended:
Halving legal immigration levels to around 500,000 admissions per year completes the process known as “chain migration”, where naturalized citizens can sponsor an unlimited number of foreign relatives, concludes the Diversity Visa Lottery, which randomly issues 55,000 visas per year, requiring E -Confirm nationwide for to exclude illegal aliens from the recruitment process, halt low-skilled immigration and massively curb illegal immigration with increased border enforcement and rapid deportation.
Jordan told a crowd in 1995 at Ross Perot’s United We Stand America conference:
We have concluded that a properly regulated legal immigration system is in the national interest. Immigration is not a right guaranteed by the US Constitution anywhere in the world who think they want to come to the US. Immigration is a privilege given by the people of the United States to those we choose to admit. [Emphasis added]
We are a country of law… we disagree with those who would describe any effort to control illegal immigration as some inherent anti-immigrant. Illegal immigration is not acceptable. [Emphasis added]
The Commission finds no national interest in continuing to import less skilled and unskilled workers into the most vulnerable parts of our workforce. Many American workers do not have job opportunities and they do not get better. With the welfare reform, many unskilled American workers were in the labor market. We should make their task easier to find employment not more difficult by prioritizing unskilled foreign labor. [Emphasis added]
A few weeks before Congress and Clinton were to take up the Jordan Commission’s recommendations, Jordan died shortly after his 60th birthday of complications with pneumonia.
Beck, who published The back of the bearing line depicting the nation’s history of immigration and its negative impact on black Americans, Jordan’s dream of an immigration system that benefits Americans apparently “died when she died that day.”
“Barbara Jordan’s legacy is that she was one of the last Democrats to stand equally high and brave for that part of the traditional Democratic Party,” Beck said.
“It was the power of her character and her personality and logic and her moral platform that drew many people, what did good for most Americans as opposed to helping their specialized donors,” he continued.
RJ Hauman of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) described Jordan as an “extraordinary woman who is passionate about pursuing justice for all Americans,” which was incorporated through her immigration reforms.
“Jordan stands with Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, A. Philip Randolph and Coretta Scott King – civil rights leaders who fought for the economic well – being of African Americans and understood the negative effects of mass immigration,” Hauman told Breitbart News.
The Jordan Commission’s recommendations, Hauman said, have long been “swept aside in the Democratic Party’s efforts to obscure the long history of civil rights leaders who believed that immigration policies should serve the national interest.”
To that effect, Beck said that Jordan “really embodied something in the Democratic Party that had a special responsibility to take care of the working man and woman.” Immigration for Jordan, Beck said, was a working issue and added:
When she talked about fighting black Americans, she almost always spoke for all fighting Americans. It is a legacy, especially in an age of identity politics. She was, in a way, one of the last great proponents of a more pluralistic form of politics that looked at all Americans in general.
In today’s Democratic Party, no elected Democrat sitting in Washington, DC, has expressed support for the Jordan Commission’s recommendations. Instead, the party is driven to support huge labor market inflation with amnesty for illegal aliens and increased legal immigration levels.
Although there is silence from Democrats in Washington, DC over the Jordan Commission’s recommendations, Beck said there is rumble from black Americans online seeking a political figure to embrace tight labor markets.
“Who’s going to replace her? We’ve been leading for decades, and the whole nation is looking for that kind of leadership,” Beck said.
Jordan’s immigration reforms are apparently more relevant today than in 1995.
Each year, the United States enrolls about 1.2 million legal immigrants on green cards and another 1.5 million foreign nationals on mostly low-skilled temporary work visas. The U.S. population has hit a record 331.9 million, driven mainly by legal immigration, which includes a record-high 46.2 million foreign-born residents.
With no change in the country’s illegal and legal immigration levels, the United States is expected to hit a record high of nearly 70 million foreign-born residents by 2060 – all the more so because reformers point to Jordan, still, as a pioneer in immigration policy.
“Barbara Jordan had the national interest at heart. Today is an important day to revisit what she had to say about the immigration issue to put the current debate in proper perspective. Her legacy lives on, ”Hauman said.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Send him an email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.
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