Immigration reform and slavery?
Immigration reform is a hot issue right now (we have discussed this issue before) and I want to talk about immigration without a supercharged discussion about the benefits and/or drawbacks of Black Brown unity. Having said that, one contentious point in the proposed Senate bill “would put a higher premium on immigrants’ education, earnings level, or job skills.” If this bill passes as is, it would represent a reversal of long standing US policy to prioritize reunification of families. So before you decide whether you support or oppose this bill, let’s take it bite-size pieces, shall we?
I was watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Jon asked one of his reporters to sum up the goals of the immigration reform debate. The reporter replied, “What can brown do for you?” (a play on the UPS commercial) I laughed because that one statement epitomizes long standing American foreign policy towards the vast Black and Brown people of the world.
Nevertheless, the immigration bill as represents one of the many dangerous principles of slavery. The bill is saying the US cares more about an immigrant’s financial contribution more than keeping families together. And we have the nerve to talk about family values when we are willing to keep immigrant families apart for years on end? In the same way, the slaves brought from Africa were only valued in monetary terms, sold, and forced to separate from their families. The similarity in principle stems from the way profit was placed over families.
Senator Barack Obama said the bill, “fails to recognize the fundamental morality of uniting Americans with their family members. It also places a person’s job skills over his character and work ethic.”
Some Black folk reading this post might disagree with my analysis but in the end, no person or group should be dehumanized to the point where their financial value is placed above being with their family, period. For Black people to do so in particular represents a severe and problematic ignorance of our own history in our tragic journey to America.
Stay up fam,