"The issue of the impact of immigration on black Americans has long been debated. During the previous great wave of immigration at the turn of the last century, most black leaders such as W.E.B. Dubois, Booker T. Washington and A. Phillip Randolph felt that immigration harmed their community. Job competition has traditionally been the key issue, but other concerns exist as well."
"Labor is a noble word, and expresses a noble idea. Cheap labor, too, seems harmless enough, sounds well to the ear, and looks well upon paper . . . But what does it mean? Who does it bless or benefit? It means that condition of things in which the laborers shall be so largely in excess of the work needed to be done, that the capitalist shall be able to command all the laborers he wants, at prices only enough to keep the laborer above the point of starvation . . . The former slave owners of the South want cheap labor; they want it from Germany and from Ireland; they want it from China and Japan; they want it from anywhere in the world, but from Africa. They want to be independent of their former slaves, and bring their noses to the grindstone."
The purpose of the Katz Award is to promote informed and fair reporting on this contentious and complicated issue, and never has it been more needed. Immigration has been widely, if superficially, discussed by the presidential candidates, Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, the AFL-CIO, and others; it has also been a subject of some contention over the past year in congressional debates over visas for temporary workers and amnesties for illegal aliens, as well as in the Michigan Senate campaign.