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.

 

 


Real Story Behind European Migration Crisis

The Real Story Behind European Migration Crisis

 

by Opal Tometi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration reflecting on her recent trip to Europe meeting with migration and racial justice advocates there:

 

“This past month I had the opportunity to travel to Europe and meet with immigrant rights activists from Greece, Russia, Germany, Brussels, France and more – and the common story that I heard was that economic hardships were leading to increased migration and migrant and refugee presence was being criminalized through various means across the continent of Europe.

 

In this video I shot and edited, Koray Yilmaz-Gunay, a Turkish immigrant who works with the Rosa Luxembourg Foundation and Migration Council of Berlin, discusses the root causes of migration across Europe and the political crisis that leads to tens of thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean Sea each year.”

 

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE.

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2014 BIN Kinship Assembly – Scholarships Now Available

BIN Conference, May 23-25, 2014 Miami, Florida

The Black Immigration Network Conference Scholarship gives kin that might otherwise not be able to attend the opportunity to participate in the Kinship Assembly.  Limited scholarship funds are available to applicants with financial need, to apply towards travel and/or hotel expenses to support attendance at the 2014 Kinship Assembly, May 23-25 in Miami, FL.  Scholarships are provided to encourage ongoing interest in and involvement with Black Immigration Network. Attendance helps in understanding the BIN framework, increases capacity, and develops key relationships. Participants are responsible for covering non-applicable expenses such as ground transportation and non-conference meals and materials.  All scholarship recipients will be required to pay the conference registration fee.

 

Scholarship Criteria:

  • Membership: Priority given to current BIN Members. Non-members are encouraged to apply as well.
  • Financial need
  • Represent an organization or be an individual serving, organizing, advocating for, and/or providing research for African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latino and African American communities in the United States
  • Able to benefit from attendance at kinship assembly

Additional factors taken into consideration include: financial need, geography, underrepresented communities, and area of practice.

 

Scholarship Recipients will be required to:

  • Commit to attend assembly activities
  • Complete a pre-conference and post conference survey

The priority deadline for stipend applicants is Monday April 21, 2014.

TO APPLY – CLICK HERE to complete the Scholarship Application Form or copy and paste this link into your browser (https://tinyurl.com/lmglhp2)

 

QUESTIONS? Contact Tia Oso, BIN Coordinator – Tia (at) BlackAlliance.og or call 917-310-3785.


BIN Immigration Reform Briefing Paper

Achieving Racial Justice in Immigration Reform by blackimmigration


Webinar Invite: Black Perspectives on Immmigration Reform

WEBINAR INVITATION   IMG_6060

BLACK PERSPECTIVES ON IMMIGRATION REFORM

 

Thursday February 28, 2013
2:00pm EST

RSVP HERE:  https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4410770407843324160

 

During this engaging webinar panelists will discuss the current components of Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and how it may impact Black Immigrant and African American communities. Panelists will also provide informative analysis on the current immigration enforcement landscape; U.S. racism and how it informs the immigrant experience; and the root causes of global migration. This webinar will help diverse black communities and allies understand what we should be uplifting in this current wave of immigration reform.

 

Question and Answer Session will follow presentations.

 

Webinar panelists include:

 

Nunu Kidane, Priority Africa Network (PAN)
An activist originally from Eritrea, Nunu is a graduate of the University of California Berkeley and has worked in Africa related program and policy developments for over two decades. For the past nine years, Nunu has worked in grassroots mobilization of new African communities in the Bay Area and nationally.

 

Gerald Lenoir, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)
Gerald Lenoir has been a leader in progressive social movements for over 30 years.  He is currently the Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and a board member of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

 

Francesca Menes, Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC)
Francesca, the Policy and Advocacy Coordinator with the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), was born and raised in Miami, Florida in the community of Little Haiti. For 2 years, Francesca was the coordinator of a national network of organizations fighting for the designation of Haiti for Temporary Protected Status.

 

Abraham Paulos, Families for Freedom (FFF)
Abraham is the Executive Director of FFF, although he joined as a member, after facing immigration detention for a crime he did not commit. He was vindicated, but his experience moved him to advocate with others. Abraham is an Eritrean refugee, born in Sudan and raised in Chicago.

 


On International Migrants Day, Black Voices Call For Immigration Reform With Racial Equity

In recognition of International Migrants Day on December 18, 2012, the BLACK IMMIGRATION NETWORK, a national network of African American and black immigrant organizations announce its collaboration to uplift black voices in the immigrant rights debate. The network cites the need for an understanding of racial justice as a key principle for immigration reform and for the contemporary struggle for racial equity for all people of color.

 

The BLACK IMMIGRATION NETWORK (BIN) was conceived through the efforts of Oakland-based organization Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the Chicago-based Center for New Community’s Which Way Forward (WWF) Program, and American Friend Services Committee’s Third World Coalition (TWC) with particular help from their Northeast Regional offices. They began their efforts in 2009 and have now grown to involve over 20 organizations nationally and several hundred black participants in a variety of convenings and advocacy efforts over the years.

 

The observance of International Migrants Day is significant to the BLACK IMMIGRATION NETWORK’S analysis of how globalization has changed the political and economic landscape – in the United States of America and throughout the world. Various international policies, wars, corporate greed and environmental conditions ultimately displace millions of people and force them to migrate to other countries in order to survive.

 

The BLACK IMMIGRATION NETWORK recognizes that often times the same types of oppressive laws and culture that historically, and currently disenfranchises African American communities is gaining momentum and finding more fuel through its attack on immigrant communities in the United States. The coded language that is often hate-filled, coupled with anti-immigrant racial profiling laws, such as Alabama’s HB 56, and other practices encourages violence that threatens both African American communities and immigrants of color. Sadly these laws and practices do not comply with United Nations Human Rights Conventions such as those protecting the Rights of Migrants or the Convention to End all forms of Racial Discrimination.

 

In its quest for racial justice, BLACK IMMIGRATION NETWORK (BIN), has also observed that current immigration policies and practices discriminate based on race and class. This discriminatory practice adversely impact immigrants from Africa, the Caribbean and other Afro-Latinos in the Americas. To this end BIN promotes the leadership of black immigrant and African American leaders in the struggle for immigrant rights to ensure that as Comprehensive Immigration Reform is being debated – black concerns are not further marginalized.

 

Trina Jackson of Network for Immigrants and African Americans in Solidarity, based in Boston, MA explains, “Our challenge as a movement is to turn the common ancestry and the common struggles of African Americans and black immigrants into concerted advocacy and a common action agenda benefiting all of our communities.”

 

The network is rapidly expanding as organizations and individuals across the nation realize that black communities care about immigration. And more importantly that black communities are always undeniably impacted by immigration. From re-framing the notion that “immigrants are stealing jobs” to educating black communities about the ways in which corporations and governments are pitting our communities against one another to weaken our power. BIN is poised to have these important educational conversations about race as well as work on policy initiatives that will benefit black communities.

 

Some of the organizations represented in BIN’s membership include the Highlander Research and Education Center, Families for Freedom, Moving Forward Gulf Coast, Priority African Network, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Casa de Maryland, Center for New Community and Black Alliance for Just Immigration. Its leadership structure includes a national steering committee and a host of working groups, including a group specifically focused on Family Reunification Visas for Haitians and a working group focused on Education and Training.

 

The Black Immigration Network (BIN) is a kinship of organizations and individuals connecting, training and building towards policy and cultural shifts for a racial justice and migrant rights agenda. BIN’s vision is that people of African descent unite for racial justice and migrant rights to achieve social, economic and political power.

 

You can learn more about the network by visiting: www.blackimmigration.net


NAACP: Chasing the Dream:Economic Challenges Black Immigrants Face in the 21st Century

Chasing the Dream:Economic Challenges Black Immigrants Face in the 21st Century

Posted on September 04, 2012 by Yehwroe Sinyan, Economic Education Coordinator and Isabel Lorenzo, Intern on NAACP Website

 

All immigrants to the United States have a shared story of struggle. They all know how difficult it is to try to navigate a foreign linguistic, political, cultural and economic system, in search of basic necessities.  And, while most Black immigrants come to the U.S. in search of better economic opportunities, many are ill prepared for the enormity of economic challenges they are sure to face.  Historically, European immigrants were able to gain citizenship, access jobs, and move up the economic ladder with relative ease.  In the case of many Black immigrants, several of the immigrant friendly policies and programs that aided other immigrants have been drastically changed or eliminated. Black immigrants, unlike their European counterparts also have to contend with inter and intra group prejudice and discrimination, aimed at them for simply being Black in America, as well as from not being Black enough in some cases.

Stereotypes and misconceptions oftentimes restrict Black immigrants’ full acceptance into the workforce. Cultural barriers, identity complexes, and preconceived notions increase the distance between many Black immigrants and their Black American counterparts. Limited knowledge or trust of institutions and organizations stifle access to much needed resources. And, financial obligations to extended families in their respective homelands coupled with the exorbitant fees associated with the Immigration and Naturalization processes, force many Black immigrants to consider risky alternatives as a means to survive. Furthermore, the conditions upon which Black immigrants arrive, documented v. undocumented, educated v. non-educated, and refugee v. non refugee, have strong correlations to where they likely fall on the socio-economic status spectrum. In this article, we highlight some of these economic challenges to bring light to this often overlooked population.

 

The majority of Black Immigrants come from the Caribbean and African continent; as such there is a dearth of data regarding Afro-Latinos.  Most recent Black immigrants enter the United States legally, seeking education and job opportunities either by joining immediate relatives who are U.S. citizens or by presenting student or tourist visas with an expiration date. Studies show that the majority of undocumented Blacks of Caribbean origins come from the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti. The number of undocumented Africans approximates four times the number of those with legal statuses. Those that are categorized as undocumented tend to fall out of status by overstaying their visas.
As is the case with most immigrants, the Black immigrants that face the largest hurdles in the immigration system are generally those fleeing from poverty or strife in their own economically unstable countries. They tend to have a harder time demonstrating their intent to return after visiting the U.S., particularly if they do not own property or a bank account in their homeland. These challenges, along with historic and present day immigration “quotas”, add to the tedium of this process. For these reasons, many choose to relocate without proper documentation, unaware of how difficult it is to exist in a country where you are considered a non entity without a legal status.
There are clear educational differences amongst Black immigrant groups. During the sixties, those who migrated from English speaking Caribbean countries, like Jamaica or Trinidad, tended to have education levels above the average citizen of their native country. For, non-English speaking Caribbean countries like the Dominican Republic, immigrants to the U.S. were generally less educated than the average person in their native country.  Currently, the pattern in the education levels of most Caribbean Black immigrants mimics those of non-English speaking Caribbean countries of the sixties. African immigrants, on the other hand, tend to have education levels above the average citizen of their native countries regardless of language. Cultural barriers also play a significant role in how quickly Black immigrants acculturate to American society. Many feel a sense of identity loss, as they are most often lumped into the generic “Black/African American” racial/ethnic group.
The majority of Black Caribbean refugees originate from Cuba and Haiti. Haitians were granted either Temporary Protected Status (TPS). Cubans received provisional admission vis-à-vis the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 or the Cuban Migration Act of 1994. Most African refugees, come to the US seeking refuge or asylum from oppression and poverty in their homelands. While various programs and organizations are available to help with readjustment, life as a refugee is riddled with cultural and psychological shocks that oftentimes impact development and growth.
As Black immigrants Chase their Dreams, they face tremendous economic challenges. Recent Black immigrants entered an American economy that offered less economic opportunity than it had for the European immigrant of the early 20th century. In this unique situation, it is important for Black immigrants to seek collaborations with organizations advocating for greater immigrant rights, economic opportunity and racial equity in order to find their deserved place in their new home. In our next article, we will offer recommendations on advancing social and economic justice in the 21st century.
Disclaimer: Due to the overal lack of statistical information on Afro Latinos, much of this information is missing from this article.