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Cardinal O’Malley, Black Leaders Align with Illegal Immigrants
       Cardinal O’Malley and Rev. Hurmon Hamilton, executive board member of the Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston joined nearly 8,000 immigrants in their demonstration for amnesty and more benefits at Copley Square yesterday.
       The Boston March was part of a nationwide event called “Day of Action” that included over 100 cities and over 1,000,000 marchers.
       Cardinal O’Malley’s role was expected, considering the posture other bishops and cardinals across the country have been taking, most notably Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles. The Catholic Bishop’s Conference also has been very vocal in their desire to see some type of amnesty for illegal aliens, and their contempt for any bill that would criminalize aiding and abetting illegal aliens. Cardinal O’Malley addressed the crowd briefly in Spanish, Portuguese and Creole.
       Rev. Hamilton’s appearance was considered more enigmatic since the aims of the immigrant lobby is in many ways counter-productive to the mission and goals of the Black Ministerial Alliance. The members of the Alliance, and affiliated groups like the 10 Point Coalition seek to help urban minorities, most frequently young black men, to lead productive lives. A significant part of that is helping them get employment. A large influx of Hispanic immigrants can take away any chance of black citizens from finding entry-level jobs. Some experts believe that the recent wave of immigrants to the Boston area from Brazil and Mexico, and the subsequent lack of entry-level jobs available is one of the underlying causes to the increase in violence in the inner cities this year.
       Rev. Hamilton commented earlier on his role at the rally saying: “Nationally the question has been raised, where is the black church? In Boston, the answer is clear. On Monday evening, we will be standing with our brothers and sisters fighting for responsible immigration reform.”
       Meanwhile, in Washington D.C, Sen. Ted Kennedy was also making the parallel of the illegal immigration marches to the Civil Rights Movement. Before 200,000 immigrants on the Washington Mall, Kennedy said: “Some in Congress want to turn America away from its true spirit. They believe immigrants are criminals. That's false. They believe any of us who help immigrants – including our priests – are criminals, too. That's false. They say you should report to deport. I say report to become American citizens. More than four decades ago, near this place, Martin Luther King called on the nation to let freedom ring. Freedom did ring – and freedom can ring again.”
       Some black leaders, like Rev. Jesse Peterson of the organization Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny, have taken Sen. Kennedy to task for his comparison, and his disregard for the black population in this matter. Rev. Peterson said in a press release yesterday that: “Ted Kennedy should be ashamed for comparing the civil rights struggles of blacks to that of illegal aliens. Black Americans are being driven out of their jobs and schools by the influx of illegals—while politicians like Kennedy sell them out for Hispanic votes.”

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