White House Honors Late Civil Rights Activist to Promote Bipartisan Immigration Reform, Argue for Wall Funding

Barbara Jordan / Getty Images
January 17, 2018

The White House on Wednesday released a statement honoring the late civil rights activist and politician Barbara Jordan in an effort to bring Republicans and Democrats together on immigration reform.

The presidential message honoring Barbara Jordan was released on the 21st anniversary of Jordan's death, and points out that the Texas Democrat shared many views on immigration with the Trump administration.

Jordan was the first black woman elected to the Texas Senate, and the first female to be elected to serve Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives. Jordan believed immigration policy that put America first was an important civil rights issue, according to the White House statement.

"Barbara Jordan epitomized the American Dream she worked so tirelessly to protect," the statement reads. "She remained steadfast in promoting common-sense reforms that would better protect the rights and needs of Americans."

The White House message points out how a Democrat and champion of civil rights viewed illegal immigration as something that undermined African-American and Hispanic-American rights.

"Jordan called for an end to chain migration, which has allowed millions upon millions of low-skilled foreign nationals to compete for opportunities and resources against our most vulnerable citizens, many who come from African-American and Hispanic-American communities," the statement from President Donald Trump says.

The statement expresses hope that the recognition of Jordan's beliefs may help pull Republicans and Democrats closer to an agreement on immigration reform that "secures our southern border with a wall, stops chain migration, and ends the visa lottery program once and for all."

Democrats and Republicans have been embroiled in a fierce debate over immigration reform and on how to formulate a legislative fix to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program. Democrats have prioritized passing a DACA replacement while Republicans have argued a fix for "Dreamers," those illegal immigrants previously protected under the Obama-era executive order, should come along with more comprehensive immigration reform, including border security and wall funding.