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Dr. Frank Morris Praises ‘Back of the Hiring Line’ in Chicago Tribune Op-ed

author Published by Eric Ruark

Dr. Frank Morris, Sr. is the former executive director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a research organization founded by the Congressional Black Caucus to research political issues directly affecting Black Americans. He is a retired professor and former dean of graduate students at Morgan State University.
Dr. Morris has long been involved in the immigration reductionist movement and is currently the chair of the board of directors for Progressives for Immigration Reform. He has written extensively on how U.S. immigration policy affects the environment, and how Black Americans are disproportionality harmed by mass immigration. Dr. Morris has testified numerous times before Congress.
In 2004, along with former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm and Cornell University ecology professor David Pimentel, Dr. Morris ran, unfortunately unsuccessfully for the national board of directors of the Sierra Club in order to reverse the Club’s 1994 decision to abandon support of moderate immigration levels and U.S. population stability. Like many dedicated environmentalists, Dr. Morris had become frustrated with how the country’s largest “environmental” group had abandoned one of its core tenets.
Dr. Morris’ erudition and passionate advocacy for racial equality was on display in an op-ed that ran in the Chicago Tribune (paywall) on Monday. A student of U.S. immigration history, Dr. Morris points out that:
Throughout our nation’s history, employers have preferred to hire newly arrived foreigners, who will often work for rock-bottom wages, instead of Black workers. When policymakers have periodically scaled back the influx of those foreign laborers, Black Americans’ earnings have soared — only to fall again once our leaders turn the immigration spigots back on.
Dr. Morris goes on to reference Roy’s recently published book:

As Roy Beck’s new book, Back of the Hiring Line, thoroughly documents, Black Americans enjoy good economic opportunities only in tight labor markets. That’s why, in the decades following the Civil War, Black leaders like Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey and A. Philip Randolph all favored restricting immigration to help free enslaved people and their descendants

Dr. Morris points out that the negative effects of mass immigration on Black Americans is not a thing of the past. It is ongoing and necessitates a reduction in overall immigration levels today. He mentions the missed opportunity in the 1990s when President Clinton promised to work to implement the recommendations of the Jordan Commission. But after Barbara Jordan’s death, Clinton pulled back from that commitment and, as Dr. Morris points out:

…when the time came to vote on bipartisan legislation that would have scaled back the influx of foreign workers, enough lawmakers — in thrall to corporate interests — banded together to defeat the bill and maintain the status quo.

“Immigrants themselves aren’t at fault,” Dr. Morris writes, “it’s tough to blame people for seeking a better life for themselves and their families.”
Rather, the blame rests on our elected representatives, who have repeatedly done the bidding of Big Business and ignored multiple blue-ribbon commissions that all reached the same conclusion: Reducing immigration is necessary to foster Black Americans’ economic development.
This is a main theme in Roy’s book, as well. Immigrants, like natives, have been on both sides in the fight for full civil rights for Black Americans. What has severely hampered the cause of equality has been immigration policy instituted by Congress at the urging of U.S. employers and to the detriment of Black Americans. The sheer number of immigrants allowed employers to relegate Black Americans to the back of the hiring line, depriving them of economic and political standing in their own country.
Dr. Morris concludes his op-ed thusly:
Politicians in both parties pay lip service to helping Black Americans. If they were truly sincere, they’d listen to generations of civil rights leaders who’ve all recognized that the best way to boost Black Americans’ fortunes is to ensure tight labor markets. That requires stemming the influx of foreign workers. (emphasis added)
>For those with access to the Chicago Tribune, Dr. Morris’ op-ed can be found here.
>For a copy of Roy’s book in paperback, audiobook, or e-book, go to

ERIC RUARK is the Director of Research for NumbersUSA

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