BLACK IMMIGRANTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS UNITE FOR HISTORIC RALLY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM
One Thousand Caribbean and African Immigrants Rally in DC to Demand that Their Distinct Needs Be Addressed in Policy
WHAT: Black Communities for Immigrant Justice Rally
WHO: An estimated 1000 Progressive African Americans and Black Immigrants from the Caribbean, African, Latin America and around the globe. Led by Churches United to Save and Heal (CUSH), Black Immigration Network (BIN) and The Black Institute (TBI).
WHEN: Wednesday March 20, 2013 at 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
WHERE: Washington, DC – United States Capitol Grounds
BACKGROUND: For years several grassroots black-immigrant led organizations have been advocating for different types of immigration reforms pertaining to their distinct community. On Wednesday March 20th they are coming together to demonstrate their strength and unity when it comes to having the needs of black immigrants met in the immigration reform debate.
Black Immigrants in the US make up approximately 10% of the foreign-born population. And African immigrants are the most highly educated of all immigrant groups in the U.S. However, black migrants (from Africa and the Caribbean) face unprecedented adversity and are often forgotten in the immigration debate. What’s worse black immigrants are being detained at deported at 5 times the rate despite the fact that they’re not the largest undocumented immigrant group in the US. In New York City those who are deported the most are Jamaicans, Haitians and Dominicans, which illustrates the racialized nature of the issue. Nigeria and Brazil also made the top 10 list of countries where deportees come from.
African Americans are also joining this fight to lend their voice and to stop the reversal of civil rights gains under the guise of immigration enforcement. African American communities are also impacted by the changing demographics and have joined this coalition of groups in order to envision creative and just solutions to the immigration system.
Many grassroots organizations have been part of the larger primarily Latino-led immigrant rights rallies, however black immigrants have decided it’s time to be the decisive and leading voice on these issues as they are particularly impacted.
CUSH Chairman, Bishop Orlando Findlayter says, “We’ve been advocating with our communities for many years now and this is because the moral conviction we have about the issues, and our quest to keep families together.”
Pastor Gilford T. Monrose explains, “Our parishioners face many challenges in the immigration system and this is not right. Black Immigrants are an integral part of the society and have contributed greatly to the cultural and economic fabric of the United States.”
Bertha Lewis of the Black Institute says, “We’ll be rallying on March 20th to ensure black immigrant voices are heard and to demand full citizenship for all. Our Caribbean and African immigrant sisters and brothers cannot afford to live in limbo without documentation or temporary statuses.”
National Coordinator, Opal Tometi, of the Black Immigration Network adds, “We’ve seen an attempt to reverse the gains made by the civil rights movement through the anti-immigrant movement, and now it’s time to put a decisive end to the regressive politics that only further disenfranchise and criminalize communities of color. The time for full citizenship for all is now.”
Three main organizations that have come together to ensure the success of this rally are Clergy United to Save and Heal, The Black Institute and The Black Immigration Network.
Other organizations who are also participating in the rally are: National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, New Sanctuary Coalition, NY Communities for Change, Make The Road NY, Caribbean American Faith-Based Leadership Network, Cameroon American Council, Women Supporting Women, Families for Freedom, African Diaspora for Change, 32 BJ SEIU, 1199 SEIU, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Caribbean Women Health Association, National Action Network and Latin American Caribbean Cultural Centers.