The Coretta Scott King letter that Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t dare read in Congress

The Coretta Scott King letter that Elizabeth Warren wouldn’t dare read in Congress
Coretta Scott King (Image: Library of Congress)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren made headlines this week when she was silenced on the floor of the Senate for reading a letter by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s wife. The reading, which occurred during the confirmation hearings of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, was intended to cast Sessions in a bad light. Warren’s reading of the letter ran afoul of Rule 19 of the standing rules of the Senate, which prohibit “imput[ing] to another senator or senators any conduct or motive unworthy or becoming a senator.”

But there’s a second letter by Coretta Scott King that Warren and her fellow Democrats would rather no one would read … on the Senate floor or anywhere else.

The letter, addressed to Sen. Orrin Hatch , urges the Senate not to repeal sanctions on employers of illegal immigrants because of the “devastating impact” it could have on unskilled and semi-skilled workers, particularly in the black and Hispanic communities. Mrs. King signed the letter in 1991, along with the CEOs of eight leading black organizations and coalitions lobbying on behalf of the minority voters they then represented all over the country.

In the letter, King and the other members of the Black Leadership Forum lay out an argument for enforcement of immigration laws in that will sound familiar to anyone who has paid attention to Sessions’s position. King was concerned that the elimination of controls on employers of illegal immigrants would result in discrimination against American minority workers:

We are concerned, Senator Hatch, that your proposed remedy … will cause another problem — the revival of the pre-1986 discrimination against black and brown U.S. and documented workers, in favor of cheap labor — the undocumented workers. This would undoubtedly exacerbate an already severe economic crisis in communities where there are large numbers of new immigrants.

Warren’s stunt was an attempt to forestall Sessions’s confirmation as attorney general in the Trump administration. It was conveniently timed to coincide with Warren’s announcement that she has a new book coming out in April. The resulting flurry of headlines and memes ensured her plenty of publicity.

This report, by Rachel Stoltzfoos, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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