Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Intersection of Immigration and Civil Rights

This story was posted originally at Immigration Impact, we thought it is worth sharing today.

Today, we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a man whose dream of equality and human rights changed the course of history. His legacy will be remembered this week by people of all colors and creeds who still believe in the American dream and who continue to fight for equality, civil rights and the basic human dignity they deserve. Over the weekend, thousands of human rights activists took to the street in Phoenix, Arizona, to march for civil rights and for “long-overdue federal action on immigration.”
So what is the link between immigration and civil rights? In a recent editorial, Rev. Harvey Clemons Jr., the pastor of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Houston, connects Dr. King’s fight for equality with the struggle many immigrants face today.

Immigration is about human dignity and the nobility of parents of different tribes and nations facing the risk of coming to a foreign land, a land of opportunity, to work for a better tomorrow for their children…Dr. King invoked the truth, the truth being that all humans ought to be treated with a certain dignity. It would be natural for us to look to him as an example for fighting for a just cause.

Gerald Lenoir, director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration, also draws parallels between the struggles of African Americans and the struggles of recent immigrants:
Even some of the migration experiences of African-Americans, coming from the South, leaving conditions of economic injustice and terrorism from both legal authorities and groups like the Ku Klux Klan, we see that same kind of movement in people across borders.

Something to think about.