Sold Out

Once you accept the premise of minority set-asides in government contracting, it becomes clear that African-Americans are being sold out by current immigration non-enforcement.

Ask an African-American to choose between allowing a policeman to check Americans' immigration status so he can get a fair shot at being awarded a contract and having his "civil rights" protected by not allowing the policeman to check and losing the contract because of it, and chances are excellent he'd choose the former. The Obama administration is asking African-Americans to choose the latter.

The states and federal government typically set aside 12% to 25% of all construction projects for minority business enterprises (MBE). That number is determined by dollar volume, so a $1,000,000 project will typically require that at least $120,000 of it is awarded to an MBE. Consider how many of these kinds of projects flooded the streets with the implementation of the stimulus bill, then add the total of all the other non-stimulus projects budgeted over the last few decades, and you realize that the dollars being awarded to MBEs are astounding.

Due to language limitations, illegal aliens in the construction industry are typically hired by Hispanic small businesses. African-American owners typically hire African-Americans. Since some Hispanic small business owners often are paying the illegal aliens under the table to avoid paying the unemployment insurance and other taxes, they have an inherent advantage when they bid on contracts -- a very big advantage. In essence, they cheat.

Some people claim that illegal immigrants only take the jobs that other Americans don't want, but that's not true. While the flood of illegal immigrants is primarily laborers, the MBE requirements don't specify what type of work gets awarded; they simply specify what percentage of the work is to be awarded to an MBE. By taking the labor-intensive installation contracts, Hispanic businesses scarf up the lion's share of the MBE percentage of the contracts and leave the African-American subcontractors, the electricians, security system providers, etc. to battle over the MBE scraps.

They don't have to compete head-to-head for the African-American-owned business to be cheated. The African-American-owned business may be bidding on the plumbing against white-owned businesses, while the Hispanic-owned business is bidding on the drywall installation against white-owned businesses. Let's say the African-American-owned business puts in a bid that is slightly higher than the bid of a white-owned business, while the Hispanic-owned business is the low bidder because of his inherent advantage. The Hispanic-owned business gets the contract, and that may be all that project requires to meet its MBE requirements. But had the Hispanic-owned business been forced to compete on an even playing field by paying its employees as it should, it would have bidden higher than the white-owned business. At that point, the contractors would look at the difference and select whichever MBE was closer to the white business's bid in their respective scopes. If the African-American-owned business was closer, then it gets the contract, and the Hispanic business is on the outside looking in.

If the Hispanic small business owners were forced to pay their employees full wages, then the number of contracts African-American businesses close would increase exponentially. They would have to hire and train new employees, and since African-American owners tend to hire African-Americans, unemployment in the African-American community would fall. Not only that, but by shrinking the pool of illegal immigrants, the Hispanic and other owners who hire illegals would be forced to pay better wages. It would be better for the employees.

The notion that this would cost us more in the long run is absurd. Look at how many unemployment benefit extensions have been passed by this administration alone. Those dollars don't even begin to measure the cost to our economy, because they don't take into consideration crime, school taxes, and that illegal aliens tend to send a large portion of their wages home. Instead of urban areas like Baltimore or Detroit getting a much-needed infusion of cash, some other country gets it.

Of course, it wouldn't be enough to simply deport illegal aliens, or to grant citizenship to the ones we feel have earned the right to stay. MBE requirements would have to include far stricter verification that the work is actually being done by the MBE contractor's own forces. As it is, it's far too easy to skirt the requirements. It's common for contractors to hire white companies and to simply run the paperwork through a minority contractor, who gets a 5% fee for processing it. If we're going to insist on this sort of social engineering, which adds countless dollars to the bids on federal and state projects, we may as well get the full benefits of the program. Currently, far too often, a rich minority owner gets a little richer, but since he's not required to do the work, he doesn't have to hire and train new employees. It's a farce.

The Obama administration, the NAACP, and the ACLU have sold out the African- American community. As they press on with their lawsuit against Arizona, they don't do it for anything so noble as the desire to prevent racial profiling. The administration does it to garner the Hispanic vote. Everybody knows it. And the Hispanics you see out there protesting the law are protesting out of simple greed. They know that if the United States did something about the illegal immigrant situation, they would lose that edge in price that the illegals give them.

The mystery here is why the African-American community plays along in silence. Perhaps they hope that once enough Hispanics enter the country, the evil Republicans can be vanquished from power forever, and then America will become some sort of land of milk and honey for them. If they do, then they're fooling themselves with childish daydreams. What they need to ask themselves is whether or not they want a fair shake at contracts and a chance at urban employment, or whether they truly have become the Democrats' dogs.