Our media release before the Fox Business News debates Wednesday night was titled:
NumbersUSA reintroduces the world to Barbara Jordan
Lots of tweets immediately popped up saying things like: Did I just see the late great Barbara Jordan in an ad?
Many exclaimed how great it was to see her leadership for sane, compassionate immigration to get exposure again.
And many others issued expletives amid insistence that we had somehow defiled Jordan's memory by showing her making the call for immigration reductions as she did repeatedly in the last bold acts of the Civil Rights icon's long career of public service before her untimely death in 1996.
Here's the ad: https://www.numbersusa.com/video/2015-barbara-jordan-tv-ad
And here's our web page about Barbara Jordan's career and incredibly practical comments about what U.S. immigration policy should be and do: https://www.numbersusa.com/resource-article/barbara-jordans-vision-immig...
I was asked by news media why we had chosen to feature Barbara Jordan in this latest of our ads that are running in all Democratic and Republican debates. Here was my written response:
As more politicians are easing into discussion about not just illegal immigration but about whether legal immigration numbers should be cut, many in the news media and the public react as if reducing immigration is a fringe idea or at least outside mainstream thinking. We chose the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform to anchor the ad to help people begin to see that politicians today calling for an end to chain migration, an end to the visa lottery, mandating workplace verification of all hires, and tracking all entries and exits by foreign citizens are not being radical. One can disagree with those recommendations but they nonetheless are so mainstream that they were recommended by a bi-partisan set of commission members chosen by Senate and House leaders. Of course, we can't get all those recommendations in the ad. But we can directly raise the basic idea of cutting legal immigration numbers in half and to do so for America's most vulnerable. As Pres. Clinton's choice to be chairman, Barbara Jordan is the logical choice to remind people that these recommendations should not be limited to platforms of Republican politicians, even though the Democratic candidates at this time seem to be advocating the opposite principles from Jordan.
As a Civil Rights icon, she also helps people get beyond attempts of the immigration-expansion lobbies to make immigration reduction seem to have a racial component
which has tended to intimidate many Americans from dealing with immigration rationally just like any other policy. The most vulnerable Americans whom Jordan mentions are people of all races and national origins. It is difficult to think of a voice more forceful and more unapologetic than Jordan's in favor of this country's immigration policies serving the interests of this country's workers.
Also, after Jordan's untimely death in 1996, I founded NumbersUSA to promote the recommendations of this last act of Jordan's long and illustrious career of public service. I was privileged to have been asked to meet with Jordan and her commission during its deliberations. Although special interest lobbies have succeeded in delaying consideration of most of her recommendations for nearly 20 years, the economic hardships that she was addressing then are even more pronounced today. Not surprisingly, we are beginning to see more and more politicians begin to take up her concerns. I think the time is ripe to remind Americans and our politicians of the great principles advanced by Jordan in what may have been her finest moment in a career of extraordinary moments.
Here is the ad we ran in the previous debates, starting in August: https://www.numbersusa.com/video/tv-ad-one-million-right-number-annual-i...
Each ad emphasizes two important numbers:
- 15 million. The number of Americans who want to support themselves, who want to avoid depending on taxpayers and family and who want a full-time job but cannot find one because there are more workers than jobs in this country.
- 1 million The number of foreign citizens that our government gives life-time work permits to every single year regardless of how large is the surplus of workers already.
This new ad notes that the bi-partisan Jordan Commission recommended cutting legal immigration to about 550,000 -- which is half of today's level.
It is very important that our politicians start to understand that reducing LEGAL immigration is a rational, mainstream option that should be on the table. Even more, we want our fellow citizens to know that cutting legal immigration numbers by at least half is a mainstream moderate solution.
Want to make sure that your three Members of Congress are re-introduced to Barbara Jordan, to her commission and to an immigration policy that would save the country? Please sign the petition that our computers will instantaneously deliver to the congressional offices of your Senators and Representative: https://www.numbersusa.com/petition?ID=17114
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, Feb 19th 2016 @ 10:22am EST