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:
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.
The 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.
On October 21, the Rights 4 All in DR Campaign held an advocacy day on Capitol Hill, visiting congressional leaders to educate them on the crisis of statelessness facing Dominicans of Haitian descent. BAJI Policy Coordinator Carl Lipscombe wrote about the importance of getting U.S. leaders taking action, “Unfortunately, the U.S. government has done little to support the thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent, many who have relatives in the U.S. While several lawmakers have met with the Dominican government to no avail, the State department has yet to take an official stance against the deportations and a resolution denouncing the DR’s human rights abuses has yet to gain traction.
During our meetings with legislators we urged them to sign on to a joint letter to the State Department urging them to intervene, to reintroduce the resolution denouncing the unjust deportations in the DR, and to hold a congressional hearing on the matter.
We’re hopeful that Congress will take action –you can help by sending a letter to Congress urging them to respond to this urgent issue.
The Black Immigration Network is a national network of over 40 organizations as well as individuals leading and 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. These leaders are making news with their leadership, groundbreaking advocacy and raising issues of importance to Black communities. Check out this week’s BAJI Blog, the organization which hosts and coordinates BIN, highlighting some of the recent coverage.
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.
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) BlackAlliance.org