A value-based alliance

Immigration reform brings cooperation between Latinos and blacks

This time around, immigration reform is getting important support from African-American leaders, who recognize that the regularization of 11 million people who are living in the shadows is a modern-day civil rights struggle.

This support came to light in recent days because of the amount of African-American speakers who expressed their support for the overhaul during the rally in front of Congress. At the same time, in a less public way, people ranging from lawmakers to activists and black organizations are uniting to communicate how important immigration reform is for the African-American community.

The point of view that legalizing undocumented immigrants will create more competition for jobs and decrease those salaries no longer prevails.

This change of perspective is due in large part to the transformation of the wave of immigration, which now includes more blacks. Estimates show that black emigrants from Africa make up one of the migration groups with the highest growth. Blacks also are more than 90% of immigrants coming from the British and French Caribbean, in addition to Dominican Republic.

In general, when there is talk of immigration, people think about Latinos, but that universe goes way beyond just them.

Meanwhile, concerns about the overhaul’s impact on employment have been eased by deals between the business sector and labor unions to protect American workers.

Lastly, African-American support of immigration reform is another point of agreement between two communities that—depending on political circumstances—have been rivals despite having more things in common than differences that distance them.

Treating individuals fairly and respecting their human condition, central themes of the reform, are values that unite Latinos and African-Americans in their path to a fairer country.