Freshman Black Caucus members Reps. Steve Horsford (D-NV) and Hakeen Jeffries (D-NY) led an hour long discussion on immigration on the floor of the House Monday night.
They were joined by Congressional Black Caucus Chair Marcia Fudge (D-OH) and Reps. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY). During the hour, immigration was called the new civil rights issue of our time.
“As we honor the 100th birthday of Rosa Parks, I reflect on these issues as a basic fundamental civil right — a human right that is guaranteed to us.
“[Immigration reform] is the civil and human rights issue of our generation, just like the civil rights issues of the ’60s that was fought by African-Americans, and the civil rights issue of women before it,” Horsford said.
“We have to figure out how we create a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants who are forced to toil in the shadows,” Jeffries said.
Horsford quoted the famous line from Martin Luther King’s famous Letter From a Birmingham Jail — that is, that “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” — during his remarks. No members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus participated in the issue hour.
“It is that creed of the civil rights movement that still motivates us today. So today we take up the cause of joining arms of our immigrant brothers and sisters in that spirit. The time is now to lend a hand to those who confront injustice as a result of a broken immigration system,” Horsford said.
Horsford’s district is 25% Latino, 16% African American, 7% Asian American and 2% Native American.
The remarks from two of new members of the Congressional Black Caucus reflect the changing demographics in the in the country and in dsitricts represented by African Americans.
LAUREN VICTORIA BURKE, Politic365 Managing Editor, publishes the blog Crewof42 on Black members of Congress. She can be heard every Tuesday on the radio on The Earl Ingram Show at 4 p.m. EST. Ms. Burke has enjoyed employment with USAToday.com and ABC News and holds a B.A. in History from The American University. Contact: LBurke007@gmail.com. Twitter: @Crewof42.