Coalition Urges Renewal of TPS for West Africa

A national coalition of organizations, led by African Communities Together (ACT) is leading the charge urging the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to renew Temporary Protected Status for Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone in the wake of the 2013 Ebola crisis. Though these countries were the hardest hit and are still in recovery, the TPS program granted to nationals currently living the in the U.S. from these nations was the shortest on record. DHS has until Friday September 30th to announce an extension. 

 

 


Kinship Action Call – Black Immigrants Beyond DACA/DAPA

The recent Supreme Court ruling, which halted President Obama’s executive action programs, made it clear that our movement needs a new, aggressive Kinship-Call-Flyerapproach to advancing justice for immigrants. Even after this egregious decision, mainstream groups continue to push the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. But as BAJI’s infographic on ‘Black Immigrants and DACA’ shows (see below), by and large, our communities have failed to reap the benefits of the program. It’s time to look to the future.
Join the Black Immigration Network on July 7, 2016 at 2PMPacific/ 5PM Eastern for Black Immigrants Beyond DACA/DAPA: A Kinship Action Call.
Register here for the call-in details, and read BAJI’s statement on the Supreme Court’s DAPA/DACA+ decision.
 
 
DACA’s Impact on Black Immigrants

DACA & Black Imms (1)


Program Preview “Black Love Beyond Borders”

We are just weeks away from the BIN Kinship Assembly and we hope you have made your plans to join us for 3 days of sharing, learning, fun and fellowship. If you are wondering what you can look forward to, take some time to view the updated program and register athttp://binkinship2016.eventbrite.com/

 

The Kinship Assembly program is designed intentionally, to provide ample opportunities for learning, relationship building and strategizing. The convening begins with the transformative interactive African Diaspora Dialogues, laying the groundwork for building a sense of kinship and connection.

 

Throughout the weekend we have three incredible plenaries:

 

“The State of Black Immigrants”  Moderated by Carl Lipscombe, Legal and Policy Manager, BAJI Featuring Amaha Kassa, Executive Director, African Communities Together, Shiu-Ming Cheer, Senior Staff Attorney & Field Coordinator, National Immigration Law Center, Ronald Coleman, Government Affairs Manager, California Immigrant Policy Center and Sakira Cook, Counsel, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

 

“Organizing at the Intersection” – Moderated by Trina Jackson – Coordinator, Network of Immigrant and African American Solidarity (NIAAS).Marybeth Onyeaukwu, Black Immigration Network, Abraham Paulos,  Families for Freedom, Tefere Gebre, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, Celeste Faison, National Domestic Workers Alliance/We Dream in Black, Ola Osaze, Transgender Law Center

 

“Los Angeles to Lagos, A Local to Global Perspective on Black LiberationModerated by Opal Tometi, Executive Director Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) Lumumba Bandele, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Emira Woods, International Feminist and U.S. Foreign Policy Expert, Greg Akili, LA Black Workers Center and Corporate Accountability International,   José Chucho Garcia,  Center for Afroamerican Studies at the Universidad Cental de Venezuela (UCV). AFROAMERICA, Altagracia Jean Joseph, Human Rights Activist – Dominican Republic, umi selah, Director – Dream Defenders

 

Attendees can choose from various workshop sessions to broaden and deepen understanding such as The Real Crime, Race, Globalization and MigrationBlack AND Muslim AND…, International Black Struggles, Black Women and Girls and Organizing Black WorkersClick here to see the full schedule.

 

You will also have a chance to learn and enhance your skills in fundraising, media engagement, secure communications and culture organizing, as well as in our popular “BIN Talks” organizing case studies and Consultants Cafe with opportunities for one-on-one coaching. On Sunday April 10th, we will go “beyond borders” of the conference space and into the Los Angeles community, with opportunities to worship, recharge, learn in-depth about Black communities in Los Angeles and soak up some local flavor.   View the full program outline at BlackImmigration.net/Kinship.

 

This is just a quick preview of a very exciting and unique event that you must experience first-hand to truly appreciate. The Kinship Assembly is only held every two years and is your best chance to shape BIN’s priorities and advocacy initiatives. As the only black-led network dedicated to building an agenda for racial justice and migrant rights at a time when our communities need it most, we need your participation to make our network and our movement the best it can be. Register and join us in LA.

 


Black Immigrants Lives Matter – Free Maribel

Black Alliance for Just Immigration Join Efforts to Free Chronically Ill Central American Women in Detentionmaribel

 

Maribel*, a Afro-Honduran woman seeking asylum from violence in Honduras is currently detained in Laredo, TX and is chronically ill due to sickle cell complications.  Maribel is a member of the Garifuna community from Caribbean shores of Honduras. Detained for over a year, Maribel is suffering from chronic health issues due to sickle cell disease and has been denied parole and proper medical care by ICE. Maribel has resisted her detention, speaking out against the conditions and participating in a hunger strike along with at least 26 other Central American migrant women being held in the Hutto detention facility. She believes her mistreatment and denial of bail is due to her resistance and her race.


 

TAKE ACTION- Please join BIN anchor member BAJI in demanding Maribel be released and her case closed.

  1. Sign and Share the Petion:demanding Maribel’s release.
  2. Call  Richard Rocha at ICE HQ at 202.407.5142 and Enrique Lucero at the San Antonio ICE office at 210.283.4711 in advance of Maribel’s next hearing on Friday February 12.

CALL SCRIPT “Hello, I am calling to ask that you please release Maribel Zelaya (A#206872250) immediately! Maribel is extremely ill from sickle-cell anemia and cannot get proper healthcare in detention. Releasing Maribel now could save her life.  She has survived extreme violence has a fear of violence if returned to Honduras. Maribel’s partner was disappeared and has probably been murdered after being deported a few months ago and she will be a target for the same violence if she is deported.  Maribel’s most recent parole request was denied and she is very ill. She has survived too much already. Release Maribel now so that she can begin healing. 

 

You can learn more about Maribel here and by reading below. Please sign, share and get involved to stand up for Maribel, other women detained and all immigrants held in detention. 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carl Lipscombe | Carl@BlackAlliance.org | (347) 410-5312

 

Black Leaders Demand Release of Chronically Ill Asylum Seeker Suffering in Detention
Decrying Racist and Sexist Abuse by ICE and Detention Officers

[February 11, 2016 Laredo, TX] – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials in Texas are facing pressure from elected officials, advocates, and medical professionals nationwide as the medical condition of “Maribel,” an asylum-seeker who has been detained for over a year, rapidly deteriorates. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration joins in calling for Maribel’s immediate release and raise concerns for her health and treatment at the hands of ICE and detention officers.
“Maribel’s neglect and mistreatment at the hands of ICE is a clear example of how Black women are treated in custody. She came to the US. for safety after suffering horrific violence, and here her life is in danger because of the racist and sexist ICE system that ignores her case for asylum, and the detention officers punishing her for her protest and disregarding her illness,” says Opal Tometi, Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Co-Founder Black Lives Matter.
Maribel, a Black-Garifuna migrant, fled Honduras over a year ago fearing gang violence based on her family ties and ethnicity after surviving sexual assault and threats to her life and loved ones. The immigration judge overseeing her asylum claim deemed Maribel not to have an objective basis for her fear. Despite evidence to the contrary, including the disappearance of Maribel’s partner, with whom she left Honduras to seek asylum in the U.S following the murder of his father and brother. He is also presumed dead and now Maribel is a target of this same group responsible for this deadly violence, should she be deported to Honduras.
Maribel also suffers from sickle cell disease causing a number of acute and chronic health problems, such as severe infections, attacks of severe pain (“sickle-cell crisis”), stroke, and an increased risk of death. The complications of sickle-cell disease can be prevented to a large extent with proper medical treatment, however ICE has ignored Maribel’s health needs and, on occasion, even punished her for fainting. According to Maribel’s attorneys, “Maribel is in need of immediate medical attention by health professionals who understand sickle cell disease.”

 

READ Full Press Release HERE: 

 

*Alias to protect her identity. 


BIN Policy Update Regarding ICE Raids – January 2016

January 2016 Policy Update:

 

In December, while many of us were opening presents, the Obama administration announced a new wave of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids targeting Central American families with final deportation orders. And in the first week of the new year, these  raids have swept across the country, with more to come. 

 

While this newly announced deportation drive has angered many advocates, ICE raids have been amplified since President Obama announced the administration’s focus on “felons not families” in November 2014. In fact, while 121 Central-American families were detained last week as a result of the recent ICE raids, in cities like New York, this same number of ICE arrests has occurred on a weekly basis for months.

 

Nonetheless, given this new focus on “families” as well as “felons” during the last year of the Obama administration, our communities must beware of what’s ahead. In the coming weeks BAJI will host a kinship webinar on the new round of home raids and continue to share information on the how the raids are impacting Black immigrants.

 

Until then, here’s what you can do:


Linking Black Struggles on International Migrants Day

marcha ofranehThe Black Immigration Network continues to engage in the US to raise awareness of the plight of migrants and refugees globally and advocate to uphold the human rights of all. As the United Nations reports, displacement is at an all time high, with a record 59.5 million people forcibly displaced by conflict. Today one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. Add to this number the millions forced to leave their home countries to seek work because global capitalism has decimated their economies. The numbers are staggering and the testimonies are heartbreaking. In 1990, the United Nations a resolution on International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families. A decade later, the UN declared December 18th as the Day of International Migrants.

 

It was asked then and remains a question now, what does this day mean to migrants and refugees of African descent?

 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Convention, and the struggle to recognize the human rights of all migrants globally continues. We do not celebrate International Migrants’ Day, as our communities face a serious crisis, but we do commemorate it. The 2015  BIN Kinship Action Call will bring to focus the challenges of Black communities across the globe fighting displacement, human rights violations, economic exploitation, xenophobia and attacks on birth right citizenship. In this call, moderated by Opal Tometi, Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter and internationally recognized human rights activist Nunu Kidane, Founder of Priority Africa Network, we will hear reports from courageous leaders organizing to defend the human dignity and rights in these communities:

 

  • South Africa – Sibusiso Innocent Zikode, Founder and Chair, Abahlali baseMjondolo (South African shack dwellers’ movement)
  • Dominican Republic/Haiti – Altagracia Jean-Joseph, law student and human rights activist
  • Honduras – Carla Garcia, International Coordinator, Fraternal Black Organization of Honduras (OFRANEH)
  • Germany -Bino Byansi Byakuleka, refugee from Uganda, African Refugee Union and author of We Are Born Free 
  • United States – Carl Lipscombe, Policy and Legal Manager, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
  • Moderators – Opal Tometi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Nunu Kidane, Founder, Priority Africa Network

Register here to join this dynamic call.

 

 

A call and movement focused on the state of Black immigrants is of great significance. In the past three years, there have been more deaths of African migrants crossing the Mediterranean  Sea. In South Africa, fellow African migrants were brutally attacked in riots involving jobs, land and housing. In the Dominican Republic, people of Haitian origin are forced out from the only home they know. In Israel, Australia and Italy, refugees of African descent are treated with brutality and distain, in overt racism and total disregard for human rights. Migration has become a most contested issue globally. In the US, it is the most frequently raised topic in the lead up to the presidential elections. In France, the right wing the National Front, an openly anti-immigrant party scored a major victory of late. Immigrants of African descent are particularly viewed as threats in Europe with proposed policy measures for mass deportations to forcibly return them to their countries of origin without due screening.

 

The present state of fear, xenophobia and Islamophobia gripping nations over the rise of immigrants leaves little room for level headed dialogue on root causes of increased migration. The continued expansion of corporate powers and profit at the expense of human lives, the plundering of our environment and dispassion of land from farmers, increasing conflict and wealth gap are all factors that contribute to increased mobility.

 

As the United States is a leading force in creating these deplorable conditions, the Black Immigration Network is committed to strengthening allyship in the United States and building relationships globally throughout the Diaspora in order to grow a strong movement to defend the human rights of all. This International Migrants Day is an opportunity to do just that.


Connecting the Diaspora on International Migrants Day

IMD15-SaveDate
International Migrants Day is held annually on December 18 to recognise the efforts, contributions and rights of migrants worldwide. The Black Immigration Network (BIN) will gather in recognition of International Migrants Day  to hear from leaders in the U.S., Europe, Africa and the Caribbean via teleconference.

 

As Black people around the globe experience structural racism, xenophobia, religous intolerance and the adverse impacts of globalization, connecting across the diaspora to build a movement that protects the human rights and fundamental freedoms of migrants, is key to our liberation.

 

 

 


BAJI Blog: The Global Rooms We Gather In

From BAJI-NYC Organzer Ben Ndugga-Kabuye, reflections on the impact of globalization on Black communities. 

“The world is not any smaller now than it ever was. Our lives may just be larger now, stretched, fuller some how. That is one way to explain a process that has many names, one being globalization. At the tail end of the Civil Rights movement, and at the beginning of the Black Power movement foreign-born Black immigrants were less than 1% of the U.S. population. Now a few of us can can gather in a small room and from our personal stories connect local events to realities hidden behind the bend of the globe. Black communities and this strange process we call globalization lie at the center of what we do at BAJI. “READ THE FULL BLOG POST HERE

 

Join BAJI and the entire BIN Kinship for an International Migrants Day Kinship Action Call on December 18. Register Today. 


Black Leaders Respond to Texas v. U.S. Ruling from the 5th Circuit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact Tia Oso, National Organizer, BAJI
Phone: 347-410-5312  Email: info@BlackAlliance.org

 

BLACK IMMIGRANT AND AFRICAN AMERICAN LEADERS RESPOND TO 5th CIRCUIT REJECTING DEFERRED ACTION APPEAL

RENEW CALLS FOR REAL SOLUTIONS TO BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM, RAISE CONCERNS OF  BLACK IMMIGRANTS

[New York, NY – November 10, 2015] On Monday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed a lower court ruling blocking President Obama’s expanded deferred action measures announced in November 2014, including the Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) program. This much anticipated decision is as expected from the conservative leaning Fifth circuit. This ruling now opens the door for the Department of Justice to appeal to the Supreme Court for a review of DAPA and DACA’s legality before President Obama leaves office.“It is definitely no surprise that the Fifth Circuit court, which has previously been hostile to immigrants,  issued a ruling in favor of 26 hostile states, against an administration that is also hostile toward millions of immigrants,” says Opal Tometi, Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter.

 

“While many immigrant rights advocates see a glimmer of hope in a favorable Supreme Court ruling, the fact remains that any decision by the court will only be a temporary fix, benefiting a tiny fraction of immigrant families that are currently suffering through the current immigration system, while increased enforcement continues to tear-apart immigrant families. Though Black immigrants are only about 10% of the foreign-born population in the U.S., they are detained and deported at five times the rate of their presence in the undocumented immigrant community. Decades-long backlogs for family visas keep loved-ones in limbo and create financial and emotional distress for millions.

 

Black immigrant families – even those eligible for relief under Obama’s quick-fixes – have yet to reap the benefits of administrative relief as black immigrants often remain overlooked and excluded from the immigration discourse. We continue to call on the Obama administration to work with Congress to end the hostility toward immigrants by providing true relief to families, and eliminating immigrant detention, local ICE collaboration programs like the Priority Enforcement Program, and mass deportations.” Tometi said.

 

BAJI and the Black Immigration Network renew our call for a fair, just and inclusive immigration system, which ensures that black immigrants are treated humanely and fairly and can bring all their contributions and talents to strengthen our culture, economy and communities.

 

The Black Immigration Network (BIN) is a national network of people and organizations serving black immigrant and African American communities who are focused on supporting fair and just immigration, as well as economic and social policies that benefit these communities and all communities of color in order to create a more just and equitable society.

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USCIS Announces Next Round of HFRP Invitations

hfrpThe United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announce the next round of HFRP invitations will take place in mid-late November. Read the full announcement at www.ReuniteHaitianFamilies.com and learn about the Reunite Haitian American Families campaign led by Black Immigration Network members that helped make this program possible.