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MLK’s Wife Coretta Scott King’s 1960 View On Illegal Immigration’s Impact on Working Class

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Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., played a key role in preventing legislation that would have eliminated fines for U.S. employers hiring illegal immigrants over Americans in the early 1990s.

She and other Civil Rights leaders highlighted how illegal immigration negatively affects wages, living standards, and job opportunities for American workers, particularly black Americans.

Scott King emphasized that fining employers for hiring illegal immigrants is crucial to preventing worker exploitation and protecting American jobs and living standards.

Scott King wrote in 1991, “We are concerned, Senator Hatch, that your proposed … elimination of employer sanctions will cause another problem — the revival of pre-1986 discrimination against black and brown U.S. and documented workers, in favor of cheap labor — the undocumented workers.”

“This would undoubtedly exacerbate an already severe economic crisis in communities where there are large numbers of new immigrants,” she continued.

Due in part to her opposition, the legislation failed in both the House and Senate.

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