Peter Kirsanow Makes The Case For The Anti-Immigrant Faction Of The GOP Congress

Peter Kirsanowis a black lawyer and a commissioner on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.
Peter Kirsanowis a black lawyer and a commissioner on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission.

By Felicia J. Persaud

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Mar. 24, 2016: I must confess that before last week I had never heard of Peter Kirsanow. Never seen him on TV, never read him quoted anywhere, never heard a peep from him on police shootings of blacks and Latinos or on Donald Trump’s xenophobic tirades against immigrants, Muslims or so-called minorities. Yet, there he was – a supposed expert witness – testifying last week before the Republican controlled House Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee on Immigration and the National Interest.

For those of you like me who have never heard of Peter Kirsanow, let me fill you in as far as Wikipedia would tell. Mr. Kirsanow is a black lawyer and a commissioner on the U.S. Civil Rights Commission, a post he was appointed to by Republican President George W. Bush in 2001. He then had to fight to have his appointment upheld; so he fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court after Chairwoman of the Commission and board chair of Pacifica Radio, Mary Frances Berry, told the White House it would take federal marshals to seat Kirsanow. Nevertheless, Kirsanow won the case and was seated but like I said – has been a largely silent majority on “minority” issues since. Instead, what he has done, is followed a Conservative Tea Party like agenda, attacking everything President Obama does, including opposing the nomination of Loretta Lynch to replace Eric Holder as U.S. Attorney General.

So it was no surprise when on Wednesday, March 16th, there was the black conservative, ready to speak on “The Impact of High Levels of Immigration on U.S. Workers” thanks to his other Conservative buddy, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, an ardent opponent to immigration – legal or illegal and anything in between.

Kirsanow, taking any opportunity to jab at the President, suddenly decided it was time to speak up for black people across America in a sudden awakening of his conscience moment!

He testified much to the glee of Sessions I’m sure, that blacks have been hurt more by President Obama’s immigration policies than perhaps any other sub-group of the U.S. population.

Congratulations! What a perfect patsy for the divide and rule strategy, Sessions must have been saying.

But I digress.

Kirsanow also insisted: “The evidence that we gathered…” not sure where the research was done but let’s hear further from Kirsanow. “The evidence that we gathered shows that, unequivocally, the wage and unemployment levels of black Americans are disproportionately adversely affected by illegal immigration, particularly when it pertains to the effect on black males.”

And there was more: “In addition to depressing black employment levels, the evidence that we adduce shows that illegal immigration – frankly any low-skilled immigration – tends to drive down the wages of jobs that are available for black Americans,” Kirsanow said.

Really Mr. Kirsanow?

The last time I checked, many immigrants were doing jobs Americans – black and white –  turned their noses up on. Picking and packing fruit, cleaning houses, landscaping, washing dishes in restaurants, cleaning fish, packing eggs – these are the jobs immigrants are taking away from blacks and thereby hurting them?

Even Steven A. Camarota, Director of Research for the Center for Immigration Studies, another conservative who also testified, agreed that “immigrants tend to be concentrated at the bottom end of the labor market in occupations that require modest levels of education. For example, half of maids and one-third of construction workers and meat packers are immigrants, compared to 7 percent of lawyers.”

And as David Dyssegaard Kallick, Director, Immigration Research Initiative of the Fiscal Policy Institute insisted: if immigrants are supposedly taking away jobs, then “the best response is for Americans to become more educated … since there is widespread agreement among economists that immigration brings economic growth, and has a positive overall impact on wages and employment for U.S.-born workers.”

What do you say to that Mr. Kirsanow? Perhaps as Commissioner of the Civil Rights Commission, it would be best served to come up with some positive solutions that will help pull fellow black youth up not use the master’s rod of division.

That divisive tactic, devised perhaps to push a wedge between black and immigrants voters, will not save the Grand Ole Party this November from defeat and the eminent destruction that’s coming with Trump’s wrecking ball. That voting bloc will be united in ensuring the defeat of the Party of Lincoln and not you, Sessions or the Koch Brothers et al, will be able to stop it Mr. Kirsanow so you can take that to the bank!



The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.