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

Hundreds of Dominicans of Haitian origin protest to reclaim their right to their Dominican nationality outside the National Congress in Santo Domingo

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


Take Action Against Apartheid in The Dominican Republic

Hundreds of Dominicans of Haitian origin protest to reclaim their right to their Dominican nationality outside the National Congress in Santo Domingo

5 Ways You Can  Stand In Solidarity With Dominicans of Haitian Descent

 

As of June 17, approximately 210,000 Dominicans of Haitian descent are under  threat  of deportation  by the Dominican Government. Since 2004, the Dominican government has implemented a rigorous set of policy  including the Ruling Sentence 168/13 of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic, including a 2010 interpretation of the citizenship provisions of the Constitution which ”ruled that the children of undocumented migrants who have been in the Dominican Republic and registered as Dominicans as far back as 1929, cannot have Dominican nationality as their parents are considered to be “in transit.”

 

The enforcement of this ruling, aimed at revoking the citizenship and civil rights  of people of Haitian descent, both native born and immigrants has  rendered those affected  stateless. The rulings and actions of the government have fueled anti-Haitian sentiment, leading to violence against “Haitian looking” people and an increase in widespread discrimination. June 16 marked the deadline for those who could prove their nationality rights to “regularize” and all are now subject to deportation. The Dominican government has reportedly secured dozens of busses  and built “Welcome Centers” at the Haitian/Dominican border in preparation for removals.

 

As the international community watches this ethnic cleansing, the Black Immigration Network reached out  to members organizations and allies in the Haitian American  community for ways that community, organizations and leaders can support advocacy efforts, raise awareness and stand in solidarity with the communities of Dominican people affected by this human rights crisis.

 

 

Here are 5 ways you and your organization  can help:

 1.SIGN: Add your organization’s name to an Open Letter to President Danilo Medina, Dominican Republic: bit.ly/HaitianLivesMatter
2. TWEET: the Twitter Rally all day today using the hashtag #HaitianLivesMatter.  Tell @PresidenciaRD #HaitianLivesMatter!
twitterrally

3. EDUCATE: Use and share these links and resources to learn more about the denationalization of Dominicans of Haitian Descent

4. JOIN: A solidarity action in your  area or plan one - https://endapartheidinthedr.wordpress.com/actions/
5. BOYCOTT: many groups are calling for a boycott of travel and tourism to the Dominican Republic until the government rescinds its denationalization  of Haitian descendents and addresses racism in the Dominican Republic. Follow the  campaign on social media  #ENDAPARTHEIDINDR, #DONTGO2DR, #BOYCOTTDR 

boycott

 

 

 


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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contacts:

Tia Oso, Tia@blackalliance.org, 917-310-3785

Opal Tometi, Opal@blackalliance.org

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 http://blackimmigration.net

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BLACK IMMIGRANTS AND CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS UNITE FOR HISTORIC RALLY FOR IMMIGRATION REFORM

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.

 

Flyer Capitol Rally


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