Corretta Scott King, wife of the slain civil rights leader, warned way back in 1991 that illegal immigration would rob jobs from poor blacks and Hispanics, echoing a new anti-immigration reform ad on national TV.
In a July 9, 1991, letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, she and eight other civil rights and labor officials worried that businesses would look past low-wage minorities and hire even-lower wage illegals, increasing black and Hispanic unemployment.
In an argument being heard in minority communities today, they wrote:
America does not have a labor shortage. With roughly 7 million people unemployed, and double that number discouraged from seeking work, the removal of employer sanctions threatens to add additional U.S. workers to the rolls of the unemployed.
Additionally, it would add competition for scarce jobs and drive down wages. Moreover, the repeal of employer sanctions (against hiring illegals) will inevitably add to our social problems and place an unfair burden on the poor in the cities in which most new immigrants cluster — cities which are already suffering housing shortages and insufficient human needs.
The full letter is published below:
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.