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)


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.


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. 


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.


Rights 4 All in DR Advocates hit Capitol Hill

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BAJI Staff Carl Lipscombe, Ben Ndugga-Kabuye, Author Edwidge Dandicat and other Rights 4 All in DR Advocates with Congresswoman Yvette Clark

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.

Read Carl’s full blog post HERE.


BIN Members Making News!

BIN Steering Committee member Francesca Menes of Florida Immigrant Coalition featured on Facing South Florida on CBS Miami.

BIN Steering Committee member Francesca Menes of Florida Immigrant Coalition featured on Facing South Florida on CBS Miami.

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.

 

 


Black Lives Matter Visits Cuba

A group of Black Lives Matter activists reflect on the lessons they learned during a recent solidarity trip to Cuba

 

By Anita, Chapter Coordinator and Community Organizer with Black Lives Matter,
Amity, the BYP100 NYC Communications Co-chair,
Shannon, organizer with NYC Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Outreach Director for 2013 documentary film Black and Cuba

 

“Venceremos, my favorite word in Spanish, crossed my mind. Ten million people had stood up to the monster. Ten million people only ninety miles away. We were here together in their land, my small little family, holding each other after so long. There was no doubt about it, our people would one day be free. The cowboys and bandits didn’t own the world.” – Assata Shakur

 

Ninety miles south of the United States is a truly different world. As Black Lives Matter activists, from various groups in the movement, who have been calling for massive structural, political and social changes in our country, we decided to see just what change can actually look like. So in late July we came together with 45 strangers to embark on a life-changing journey to visit and learn about Cuba with the Venceremos Brigade.

 

In 1969, a coalition of young people formed the Venceremos, “We Shall Overcome”, Brigade, in order to show solidarity with the Cuban revolution and challenge U.S. policies towards Cuba, including the economic blockade and our government’s ban on travel to the island. Our trip, like those that came before us, consisted of work, educational activities, and travel.

 

We were introduced to a highly educated, politically conscious and diverse society that our government has tried to keep us from for more than 50 years. We met resilient, inspirational, loving people who taught us about generosity, community, humility, and the one simple truth of socialism: that people are consistently prioritized over profit. We found that even within socialism, racial justice is a struggle that must be fought for and encouraged. While we cannot claim to be Cuban experts after one or two weeks, we did learn a great deal about ourselves and what it will mean to continue to build and win a revolutionary movement in our own country.

 

The three of us — Anita, Chapter Coordinator and Community Organizer with Black Lives Matter; Amity, the BYP100 NYC Communications Co-chair and Shannon, organizer with NYC Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Outreach Director for 2013 documentary film Black and Cuba– came with different perspectives, met and bonded over our questions and analysis of the experiences we had during the trip.

 

We found that In Cuba, people do not like to talk about race.

 

For Cuba, racial discrimination is a curse that both fled the country with the Cuban exiles and stayed behind with the revolution.

 

To be fair to the Cuban revolution, many of the Black Lives Matter movement’s “radical” demands to alleviate the effects of structural racism have been fulfilled in Cuba: all education (including higher education) is free, healthcare is free, housing is subsidized, healthy food is subsidized, and more. In 1962 the Cuban government declared the end of racial discrimination through the implementation of these egalitarian policies. In the U.S., racism is aggressive and deadly, systemic and carefully calculated. Although not fully eradicated, we found it true that Cuba’s socialist model diminishes the presence of structural racism and Cubans rightfully take pride in being more socially advanced than the U.S. in their “pursuit” for racial equality.

 

But, more than 50 years into the ongoing revolutionary project in Cuba, racial equality has still not been fully achieved and is often not addressed directly. While Cuba is an amazing example of how socialism can work to benefit the good of all people, Cuba is also proof that socialism or any tactic other than deliberately and intentionally working towards eradicating institutional and structural racism will not yield total racial equality.

 

Read the full blog HERE.


Surveillance and Black Political Futures

Movement for Black Lives activist surround Cleveland Police vehicle demanding the  release of a 14 year old detained by transit  police.

Movement for Black Lives activists attendig the M4BL convenings surround a Cleveland Police Department vehicle demanding the release of a 14 year old detained by transit police.

There is something different about the air we are breathing today. As much as we are expecting something there is also a sense that by our every action history is expecting us. The arc of history does not naturally bend in a particular direction so BAJI and the Black Immigration Network joined hundreds of activists and organizations in Cleveland for the Movement for Black Lives Convening (M4BL). We expected to get some answers, but we may have left with more interesting questions.


Many of you have heard about the confrontation with police officers at the end of the convening but our first confrontation with security forces came during a night out at a local Cleveland lounge. What appeared to be an especially powerful night out for Black activists turned Michael Jackson werewolves and afro-beat mavens was in reality laced with aggression as Black trans men and women were surveilled throughout the night as they used facilities many take for granted. In response marching orders came from the DJ booth but for many the story that a Black trans man was forcibly removed from a bathroom came by mouth to mouth under the din of music cutting across the dimly lit lounge. We changed rhythms from dance to protest and the music stopped.


Mark Winston-Griffith argued convincingly that, “Black Love Matters.” If this principle of Black love is as central to our new rhythm then we must come to terms with the modes of surveillance different Black bodies face. This can be frightening and it is fear that in part explains the erasure of Black people who have no hope of translation, citizenship, or basic empathy. But if we are honest we are all under surveillance because anxiety over Black movement as any immigrant will tell you is central to understanding policing, the American Dream, or anything for that matter. And for that matter we can take for granted that M4BL was under heavy surveillance.


READ THE FULL BLOG HERE.


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

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