African Americans Overwhelmingly Support Immigration Reform
New poll and clergy leaders show black community rejects politics of division
(Washington, DC) – A poll released today by the Service Employees International Union, conducted by Hart Research Associates, shows that African Americans overwhelmingly support immigration reform that includes a roadmap to citizenship for aspiring Americans. Nationally prominent black clergy leaders applauded and echoed this finding.
“For far too long politicians have used immigration to divide Americans along racial lines,” said Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, President of the Skinner Leadership Institute. “But African Americans are rejecting the politics of division and saying that giving our immigrant neighbors the opportunity to become citizens reflects Christian values of justice, compassion and equality.”
In response to the poll question asking “Do you favor or oppose allowing illegal immigrants to remain in the country and eventually qualify for U.S. citizenship, as long as they meet certain requirements like paying taxes, learning English, and passing a background check,” 92% of African Americans said they favored citizenship, and 74% favored it strongly. Overall, just 8% of African Americans said they opposed this policy.
“Any speculation that African Americans oppose immigration reform is incorrect,” said Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr., President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention. “What I hear from people in the pews is that no one should be trapped in second-class status, regardless of race or where you were born. Now is the time to build a road to citizenship for aspiring Americans.”