Day at the White House with April Ryan: Interview with Wade Henderson

Day at the White House with April Ryan: Interview with Wade Henderson


President Obama met with Progressives, Civil Rights leaders and Labor leaders for about an hour on immigration reform at the White House last Tuesday. The President is looking for support to fix what has been called a broken system in this country.  Reports indicate there are over 11.2 million undocumented immigrants. Hispanic, Asian, African and Caribbean communities were represented at the meeting.

Wade Henderson of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights spoke with me about the meeting and discussed the Asian and Black community’s efforts in the Immigration debate as the face of Immigration has been Hispanic for so long.

There are 3 million Black Immigrants, 400,000 undocumented.  The Asian Community says two third of Asian immigrants are foreign born and over a million of the Asian Immigrants are undocumented.   There are 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the United States.

In other White House News President Obama is looking for congress to pass a smaller package of cuts and reforms to delay sequester expected to hit next month.  In three weeks a 1 Trillion dollars worth of cuts will take place.  President Obama says deep indiscriminate cuts will cost us jobs.   Ben Jealous of the NAACP discussed this sequester issue with me.

According to CBS News, In the final hours of 2012, Congress passed a short-term deal to avert the so-called sequester, a $1.2 trillion package of across-the-board spending cuts, spread equally over defense and domestic non-defense spending over the course of 10 years. But that deal expires on March 1, and Congress now faces yet another round of painstaking negotiations over a way to avert cuts that many say would devastate the economy. At the same time, Congress is also digging into negotiations for a bill to fund the government, the funding for which runs out on March 27.


  1. What meaning are we to take from the fact that President Obama has time to meet with representatives of the Hispanic community on January 25, 2013 but he had no time to meet with the CBC to discuss the 14% unemployment rate among Black people? Instead, Obama sent Valerie Jackson to meet with them 5 days ago. President Obama has only met with the CBC once, in 2011 to discuss their proposals for addressing historically high Black unemployment among youth and adults.

    It’s true that immigration reform will help Black and Asian undocumented immigrants as well as Hispanics and that’s a good thing. It is also true that many undocumented immigrants and low-skilled or unskilled workers whose entrance into the legal workforce will dilute the workforce and compete with low-skilled African Americans and other minorities for jobs.

    It seems that Black unemployment, which has significantly worsened under Obama is simply not a priority for this administration. And the prioritization of the needs of foreigners who either entered the country or remained in the country illegally over the needs and interests of African Americans who are already citizens will only inflame tensions and create more divisions.