Black lawmakers pressed President Obama on Tuesday to ensure that immigration reform doesn’t shortchange African immigrants, and they strategized about ways to protect minority voting rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling that struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act. The Congressional Black Caucus met with Mr. Obama at the White House for about 90 minutes, their first gathering with the president in more than two years. Although some caucus members have been critical of Mr. Obama for not doing enough to lower black unemployment and appointing too few blacks to his Cabinet, they emerged from the meeting with words of praise for the president. “We are on the same page,” said Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, Ohio Democrat and CBC chairwoman.
Ms. Fudge said immigration reform legislation in Congress was a topic of concern at the meeting. The CBC and others say the Senate-passed immigration bill could lead to lower immigration from countries with high black populations.
“We want to be sure that the immigration bill, which they’re saying is comprehensive, is in fact comprehensive,” Ms. Fudge said, “and that it includes people from the Caribbean and from Africa.”
She expressed concern that the Senate immigration bill will favor merit-based visas for high-skilled workers at the expense of “diversity visas.”
“We want to be sure that the people we represent, those who come from underserved countries, poorer countries, are included in the bill,” Ms. Fudge said.