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Wanted to share an op-ed penned by author Rob Sobhani, re: how our nation's immigration policies are strangling job opportunities in the black community; Rob offers a solid plan to boost employment (articles.philly.com). Here are some key points -|
Rob has been quoted in the Washington Post, CNN, The Huffington Post and more.
- Today, black unemployment is 15.5 percent - nearly seven points higher than the national average. For blacks ages 16-24, that figure jumps to 23.3 percent.
- There are those who believe that high rates of unemployment in the black community are the fault of blacks - and that immigrants are only taking the jobs that blacks don't want. The overwhelming data and common sense suggest that this is not true. After all, those same jobs (janitorial, construction, hotel, restaurant, etc.) were also around in the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, when America was the world's strongest power. Black Americans are not refusing to work. They need a level playing field.
- America's failed immigration system is the flip side of a failed foreign policy. We can address black unemployment by fixing immigration through a new narrative.
- There is no doubt that the Mexican government has exported its crisis to the United States by failing to provide a decent standard of living for its citizens, driving them north in search of a better future. Meanwhile, our already broken economic system needs to produce more jobs, protect more of the vulnerable and build more schools, roads and bridges to accommodate the surge.
- The solution requires a multipronged approach. First, Congress must institute a five-year moratorium on immigration into the U.S. (except for refugees - about 60,000 people per year). During this period, a few initiatives must take place to make it attractive for immigrants, be they legal or illegal, to voluntarily return to their home countries:
- A country-specific micro-loan program should be established for those who need startup capital to open a business back in their home country.
- Then the U.S. must decouple its trade from China and use public and private partnerships to establish manufacturing outlets south of our border. A case in point: Last year the U.S. imported $8 billion worth of toys from China. Imagine if this money were redirected to countries like Mexico, El Salvador or Peru.
- Furthermore, the DREAM Act must be ratified at the federal level but with a caveat: Once an illegal student obtains his or her degree from a university, armed with that degree they must return to their home country and help rebuild it.