Key Democratic staff hire pushing "racism" claims against high-skilled, legal immigration?

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., flanked by Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind. left, and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif. and other members meet with President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A key House Democratic staff hire is pushing House Democrats to level attacks on high-skilled, legal immigration, with the Congressional Black Caucus set to lead the charge.


That is the claim from sources working on the issue of high-skilled immigration, who say the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) is set to release a letter in the coming days trashing H-1B visas and potentially even calling for an end to the H-1B program on the grounds that it is “racist.”

The letter is alleged to be a personal pet project of Ron Hira, a research associate at the left-wing, union front-group Economic Policy Institute (EPI). Hira currently serves as a fellow on the House Education and Workforce Committee on the Democratic side. According to Hira’s biography, he also continues to work “as vice president for career activities for IEEE-USA.” The IEEE-USA is a quasi-union group representing certain tech sector workers.

EPI has long been a left-wing voice against high-skilled immigration of the type championed by conservatives.

The Institute is chaired by the AFL-CIO’s Richard Trumka. Its Board of Directors boasts such left-wing luminaries as Democratic National Committee Deputy Chair Keith Ellison, the President of the National Education Association (America’s largest labor union), the international president of the United Steelworkers, the international president of the Service Employees International Union, the international president of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez, former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, the president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the president of the Communications Workers of America, the president of the American Federation of Teachers (arguably America’s most aggressive union), and the president of the United Auto Workers.


EPI has from its inception benefited from significant funding from labor unions.

The CBC letter is expected to be promoted and hyped by immigration restrictionist groups and figures, who have a long history of pointing to union-drummed-up criticisms of legal immigration by African-American Democrats as a way of mitigating claims of xenophobia on their own part. Many of these groups retain left-wing connections, including to Planned Parenthood and pro-abortion organizations.

The CBC, while allegedly set to be leveling charges that African-Americans cannot compete against Asian immigrants, appears to devote few of its resources to scholarships that might improve the educational attainment of African-Americans seeking to work in high-skilled fields.

According to CBC’s 2015 IRS form 990, in 2015, CBC spent about $600,000 on just over 300 scholarships but over $2 million on their annual meeting. In addition, in 2015, CBC paid its staff over $2 million. The same pattern was evident in 2014, according to CBC’s 2014 IRS form 990.

Other prominent Democratic figures to have criticized high-skilled legal immigration include Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer.


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