<< Back to Mentions


Testimony of David Holzman before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Massachusetts, December 1, 2021

Thank you for holding this hearing. I'm testifying against “safe communities", which would further enable illegal immigration to Massachusetts. Way too much immigration has been keeping Black people in poverty, according to a new book, Back of the Hiring Line: A 200-Year History of Immigration Surges, Employer Bias, and Depression of Black Wealth, by Roy Beck.

During times of low immigration, Blacks have always begun to prosper. High immigration--always abetted by the cheap labor lobbies--has always pushed them back down again.

The current surge became particularly damaging in the early '90s, when the annual numbers passed 1 million.

Beck is thorough. The book draws heavily on academic research into economic history, publications run by Black people, statements of black leaders beginning with Frederick Douglass, and the determinations of multiple gov't commissions on immigration, all of which warned that mass immigration would take jobs from low/no-skilled Americans.

Had the US followed the recommendations of these commissions, I suspect that the US never would have attained among the highest levels of inequality among the western industrialized nations.

As a result, The Democrats have lost our traditional base, the working classes.

The book gives the lie to the oft-repeated claim that there are jobs Americans won't do. It tells how employers have pushed Blacks and other American workers out of those jobs in favor of the more exploitable immigrants--who as they assimilate eventually get pushed out as newer immigrants flood the labor markets.

No wonder Trump gained Latino votes in Texas in the 2020 election!

In the book, Beck emphasizes that the problem is NOT the fault of immigrants, but the fault of Congress. While he focused on Capitol Hill, state legislatures are also to blame, with with bills like Safe Communities.

You legislators have a tough job. I recognize that the other side makes a compelling case, except for the mention of southern poverty law center smears on immigration reductionist groups which have been completely discredited, along with the SPLC itself.

As you legislate, never forget the power of economic forces. Tight labor markets are incompatible with mass immigration, and essential for our most deprived citizens to prosper. And surely, the greatest moral right belongs with the descendants of slavery, and second with other impoverished American citizens who are in that state due to mass immigration.

Watch the full video here (David’s testimony begins at 2:38:08):

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

Get your copy of Back of the Hiring Line shipped directly to your address.

Ask your local Bookstore to stock Back of the Hiring Line, now available for wholesale. 

Back Cover Text


While most Americans justifiably celebrate Ellis Island ancestors, here are the stories of what the long period of mass immigration after the Civil War meant to freed slaves, their children and grandchildren in the hiring lines of America: decades of delays in gaining industrial job experience, skills and career connections, and constant setbacks in accumulating and transferring wealth.

Average Black household wealth in the 21st century is only a fraction of the wealth of other racial ethnic groups, including recent immigrants. There are many reasons. This book is about one of them: periodic sustained immigration surges over the last two centuries.

This is a little-told story of the struggles of freed slaves and their descendants to climb job ladders in the eras of Frederick Douglass, W.E.B DuBois, A. Philip Randolph, Barbara Jordan, and other African American Leaders who advocated tight-labor migration policies. It is a great history of bitter disappointment and, occasionally, of great hope.

Linda Beck