In Washington, D.C., a seemingly progressive immigration policy group called Black America for Immigration Reform emerged recently.
However, what’s striking about this organization is that its founder, William W. Chip, is a white individual with a history of making inflammatory remarks on racial matters.
What’s even more perplexing is that the group’s vision for immigration reform involves restricting immigration.
William W. Chip, a former senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security Secretary during the Trump administration, is the sole representative of Black America for Immigration Reform.
Interestingly, the address listed for the group’s registration appears to be his D.C. residence. Chip, primarily a tax attorney, has actively contributed to the Center for Immigration Studies, a prominent think tank advocating for immigration restrictions. He has consistently written about how increased immigration could potentially harm Black Americans.
This newly established nonprofit appears to be an attempt to mainstream the idea that immigration should be restricted, a perspective criticized by many as a deceptive effort to undermine comprehensive reform initiatives.
In an interview, Chip claimed he was merely organizing the group for two Black colleagues on the Center for Immigration Studies board of directors, T. Willard Fair and Frank Morris.
Chip mentioned that he wouldn’t be a part of the board for Black America for Immigration Reform, but the group would include three other individuals.
The motivation behind this initiative, according to Fair, who is also the president and CEO of the Urban League in Miami, was Chip’s suggestion.
Fair, who has been addressing immigration’s potential negative impact on Black communities for years, expressed concern over the uncontrolled influx of immigrants, particularly Haitians, into his constituency in Dade County.
Chip proposed the idea of forming a group to respond to the immigration situation at the southern border. Black America for Immigration Reform is not the first of its kind.
Similar organizations like Numbers USA, the Federation for American Immigration, and the Project for Immigration Reform (now known as the Institute for Sound Public Policy) have argued that immigration negatively affects Black workers and have advocated for immigration limits.
While Chip has been writing on immigration issues for nearly two decades, his views on race have not been hidden.
In 2021, he posted a series of inflammatory tweets on Twitter, raising questions about whether Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis officer involved in George Floyd’s death, was motivated by racism. He also delved into the concerns of Native Americans regarding European settlement in America.
According to him, Chip’s new group’s purpose is to highlight research suggesting that immigration hampers job opportunities for Black men, resulting in family separations due to unemployment.
While some economists believe immigrants generally benefit the labor market and have minimal impact on less-educated, native-born workers, there is a small cost to certain groups, including Black workers in specific sectors.
Outside of the economic debate, critics see political opportunism at play. They argue that launching this nonprofit creates divisions between core Democratic constituencies, immigrants, and Black Americans.
However, many believe that the Rainbow Coalition within the Democratic party remains potent and that such attempts to create a fracture are unlikely to succeed.