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. 


Contact: Carl Lipscombe | | (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. 

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

Press Contact Tia Oso, National Organizer, BAJI
Phone: 347-410-5312  Email:




[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.


A Global Movement to Stop Anti-Black Racism in the Dominican Republic

African-American and Black Immigrant Leaders Condemn the Government of Dominican Republic Ethnic Cleansing

Decry Racist Policy Denationalizing Dominicans and Children of Haitian Migrants as a violation of Human Rights

Approximately two weeks ago, an estimated 250,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent have been stripped of legal status due to a court decision that denationalizes generations of native and foreign-born Dominicans of Haitian ancestry. The ruling codified as Resolution 168/13 by the Dominican Republic’s Tribunal Constitution on September 23, 2013, retroactively removed the citizenship status of Dominicans of Haitian descent, rendering them stateless. This action denies these community members the required documentation to exercise basic civil rights such as: travel, work, voting, public education and housing. In essence, this ruling strips Dominicans of Haitian descent of their human rights and dignity, forcing them off their land, tearing families apart and violently deporting residents without a moment’s notice or due process.

End Apartheid banner

U.S.-based national formation the Black Immigration Network stands with the international community in condemning the Dominican Republic’s actions. The expulsion of Dominicans of Haitian Descent and Haitian migrants, regardless of immigration status, is unconscionable and wrong. The Black Immigration Network, a national organization of Black immigrants and African Americans, recognizes the racialized realities of the mass deportations and criminalization of black people as a human rights crisis. The policy is in violation of international human rights law, including the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). The practice of denationalization and deportation is a continuation of the legacy of anti-black racism in the Dominican Republic and must be stopped.


Resolution 168/13 has enshrined and bolstered a social and political climate that puts black people in the Dominican Republic in grave danger. Xenophobic violence including public lynchings of people presumed to be of Haitian ancestry. Raids and arson has plagued this nation for years and is currently on the rise. Already, over 30,000 people have fled to neighboring Haiti, in fear for their lives and uncertain of their status and ability to return to their homes in the Dominican Republic.


The Black Immigration Network (BIN) stands with people of conscience around the globe, international stakeholders, civil society and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to demand the Dominican government immediately halt the removal of denationalized Dominicans and Haitian immigrants, and guarantee that individuals are not arbitrarily, unjustly, and permanently deprived of their civil and human rights.


BIN supports a boycott of all tourism to the Dominican Republic and urges the United States government to use this period to expand the U.S. Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program (HFRPP) in an effort to provide reprieve and justice for those adversely impacted by lagging immigration policies in the U.S. and in the Dominican Republic.


The Black Immigration Network calls for a Week of Action July 27- August 1, in partnership with grassroots activist and organizations to bring attention to this injustice and international solidarity to end this human rights crisis. All Black lives matter, beyond borders — the time is now for a global movement to stop anti-black racism in the Dominican Republic and promote national reconciliation.

This statement is published publically and available via Huffington Post Black Voices


Media Inquiries: Tia Oso, BIN National Coordinator  – 480-382-1753 – Tia (AT)

Press Release: National “Kinship Assembly” to Unite Black Immigrants and African-Americans


Press Contacts:

Tia Oso,, 917-310-3785

Opal Tometi,

National “Kinship Assembly” to Unite Black Immigrants and African-Americans

Issues including immigration reform, voting rights and economic justice to be discussed

[Miami, FL – May 9, 2014] From May 23rd- 25th, 2014, an estimated 150 community leaders from across the country will gather in Miami to discuss racial justice and immigrant rights. Hosted by the Black Immigration Network (BIN), a national “kinship” network comprised of black immigrants and African Americans, leaders and activists will convene at the Little Haiti Cultural Center for three days of strategizing, networking and building a movement to unite Black communities for racial justice and migrant rights.


Immigration is a hotly contested issue and media often focus on Mexican immigrants and conflict along the U.S.-Mexico border. There are countless untold are the stories of Black immigrants who bear the brunt of disproportionately high rates of deportation, unemployment, and economic exploitation, many living life in the shadows due to undocumented status. Over 3 million Black immigrants from countries in the Caribbean, Africa, Europe and Canada live in the United States, comprising 10% of the U.S. foreign-born population. BIN is dedicated to connecting these communities for action and raising their collective voices for social, political and economic justice.


With the theme of Rising Together, this biennial Kinship Assembly will feature the use of African Diaspora Dialogues, a small-group exercise designed to build transformative change and mutual understanding between African-Americans and African immigrants on issues of race, culture and identity.  It will also include strategy sessions on Haitian family reunification, immigration reform and mass incarceration/mass detention.  The conference coincides with the culmination of Miami’s month-long celebration of Haitian Heritage Month, and will be co-hosted by local grassroots organizations including Florida Immigrant Coalition, Dream Defenders, Power U, Haitian Women of Miami, Florida New Majority, and Caribbean Lawyers Association.


“Black immigrants and African Americans have the highest unemployment, highest incarceration, lowest wages and a many more challenges facing us. This is our attempt to rectify that because our communities deserve justice and dignity, and we should have a fighting chance”, said Opal Tometi, Co-Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the coordinating entity for BIN.


In March 2013, BIN successfully led the charge to raise the voice of Black immigrants by ratifying its 10 Principles for Just and Inclusive Immigration Reform, petitioning the US Senate, and mobilizing hundreds of African Americans and Black immigrants for a national rally at the US Capitol. BIN has also developed a strategic partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus, organizing a panel for it’s Annual Legislative Conference last June on “Pan African Immigration Reform.”


“It is important in this heightened moment for Afro Immigrants and African Americans to continue to traverse the bridges that were built during past struggles like the Civil Rights fights, the various independence movements and the dismantling of the racist apartheid system,” said Donald Anthonyson, organizer with New York-based Families for Freedom.


Francesca Menes, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for Florida Immigrant Coalition agrees. “Our communities need the additional support,” she said. “Florida has one of the largest Caribbean populations in the U.S. and it’s important to give community members an opportunity to hear some policy analysis, participate in peer-led workshops and voice their issues.”


The goal of the assembly and BIN overall is to develop a network that nurtures relationships among Black-led organizations, builds collective strategies for justice, and provides support to make their work more effective.


Trina Jackson of Boston-based Network for Immigrants and African Americans in Solidarity shared, “In a day and age where African Americans are pitted against immigrants, we are a group that says this must stop – we embrace and love one another, and know that our commitment to justice is a commitment to all of us!”


Registration information for the conference can be found online at