On Tuesday members of the Congressional Black Caucus led by Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver lambasted Republicans during a House Immigration Subcommittee hearing for trying to generate tension between black and immigrant communities in an effort to pass anti-immigrant bills that would serve neither community.
The committee’s newly appointed leaders—Reps. Elton Gallegly, Steve King and Lamar Smith, are longtime anti-immigration hardliners who gathered folks for a panel called “Making Immigration Work for American Minorities,” in which House members debated the impact that immigrants had on high unemployment and depressed wages in communities of color. Gallegly, King and Smith argued that immigrants drove down wages and were primarily responsible for the unemployment crisis in black communities.
“I am concerned by the majority’s attempt to manufacture tension between African-Americans and immigrant communities. It seems as though they would like for our communities to think about immigration in terms of ‘us versus them,’ and I reject that notion,” Cleaver said in his statement, the AP reported.