We all know the conversation on immigration in the United States can oftentimes become contentious, with inaccurate portrayals of immigrants inhibiting progress. The most recent attempt to fuel the debate with fear-driven messaging is by NumbersUSA.
A new ad by the organization tries to pit racial groups against each other by suggesting that immigrants admitted to the country on work permits are “stealing” jobs from other racial minorities.
This tactic is hateful, fear-based, and sad. By running this ad NumbersUSA is trying to divide people against each other on racial grounds, sowing hate and division among our neighbors. It misrepresents the truth about immigrant workers and the benefits they provide to our country. It also does nothing to substantively address the issue of unemployment among minorities, a problem we can’t solve by directing hate at one segment of the population.
The spokesperson cited in the article claims that it is impossible to both support immigrants and fight poverty. The claim that immigrants “steal” jobs from other segments of the population has been widely discredited, as highlighted by Eduardo Porter in The New York Times. Immigrants not only perform tasks that the American workforce does not wish to perform, the positions they fill create jobs for other Americans and lift the overall economy.
As Christians, we need to call this ad what it is: wrong. Demonizing groups of people will not solve problems, and doing so with an eye for racial divides is immoral.
Janelle Tupper is Campaigns Assistant for Sojourners.