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.


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.

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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!
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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 

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Report: U.S. Deportations to Haiti Violate Human Rights

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Law School Clinics Release Report Documenting the 
Devastating Consequences of U.S. Deportations to Haiti

Report argues that returning people to post-earthquake Haiti violates human rights

 

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ORAL GABLES, FL (February 16, 2015) – A report documenting the failure of the United States to safeguard the human rights of those it deports to post-earthquake Haiti has been released by the Human Rights and Immigration Clinics at the University of Miami School of Law and the International Human Rights Clinic at the University of Chicago School of Law. To view the report, click here.

 

The law school clinics collaborated with Alternative Chance/Chans Alternativ, Americans for Immigration Justice, Haitian Women of Miami (FANM), and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti to conduct extensive fact-finding about the treatment of men and women who were deported on account of a criminal history, including over 100 interviews of deportees. The report recommends that the United States halt deportations to Haiti in light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis and extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to all Haitian nationals.

 

“We hope this report moves the U.S. government to stop deportations to Haiti,” said Marleine Bastien, Executive Director of FANM (Haitian Women of Miami). “Post-earthquake Haiti is unable to safely receive deportees.” Deportees face high levels of violence, lack of access to healthcare, and an inability to find employment and housing.

 

Deportations to Haiti affect deportees as well as the family left behind in the United States, imposing additionally financial and emotional strain on the spouses and children of deportees.  “The government has taken away my father, my best friend,” said a teenage girl whose father was deported after the earthquake.

 

Shortly after the earthquake, the United States granted TPS to eligible Haitians, which allowed them to stay in the United States. Excluded from protection under TPS are individuals convicted of two misdemeanors or one felony. Over the past five years, the U.S. has forcibly returned approximately 1,500 men and women, including parents of U.S. citizen children, people with severe medical and mental health conditions, and those with only minor criminal records.

 

“This report would not have been possible without deportees willing to share their stories of the almost insurmountable obstacles they face in post-earthquake Haiti,” said Geoffrey Louden, a third year law student at the University of Miami School of Law who traveled to Haiti last October and worked on the report. “We urge policymakers to listen”.


Remember Haiti, Reunite Haitian American Families

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This week marks five years since the magnitude 7 earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010 devastating Haiti’s capitol Port Au Prince and the surrounding area. This anniversary is a sobering reminder to all that families in Haiti are still struggling and we must do all that we can to assist. The Reunite Haitian Families Campaign, along with the ongoing efforts of organizations and individuals fighting for nearly five years, successfully petitioned the department of Homeland Security (DHS) to initiate a Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) program. Today it is time to take action to ensure that implementation is full, fair and just!



The HFRP program as announced only benefits a few of the 110,000 approved petition holders and no details are available regarding implementation. The Reunite Haitian Family Campaign is rallying advocates to call for a fully implemented Haitian Family Reunification Parole program to speed recovery efforts, reunite families on years long waiting list and provide much needed relief to thousands still struggling as the economy and infrastructure are rebuilt.



Take action! Every effort is needed to help as Haiti’s communities work to rebuild. Sign and share the petition and add your organization endorsement to join this campaign today! The Black Immigration Network is committed to fighting for family unification and advocating for policies that bring Black immigrant families together is crucial. Your support and voice in this effort has helped to win the creation of HFRP, and now we need you to ensure that a fair and just program is carried out.



In recognition of the anniversary, this video report by the Miami Herald shares a compelling update on the status of recovery in Haiti and why we must continue to fight and work together for the resilient, strong families rebuilding their lives after this tragedy.



Black Struggles in a Global Context

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BIN Recoognizes International Migrants Day

Black Struggles in a Global Context – Kinship Action Call Recap


The 2014 Migrants Day Call was very informative and gave a much needed perspective on the intersection of migrant rights, racial justice, state violence, gender issues and our very urgent need to organize.


Call to Action! - Sign and Endorse the Reunite Haitian Families Campaign: Sign the petition - http://reunitehaitianfamilies.com/take-action/ and please share it via your networks, your social media, website and blog. Also, if you represent an organization, we need your endorsement - http://reunitehaitianfamilies.com/endorse-the-campaign/. Stand united for black immigrant issues!


Join BIN- We encourage everyone who is interested in working on these intersections to consider joining or giving a donation in support of the Black Immigration Network. You can see our membership criteria and join here: www.blackimmigration.net


Recap: International Migrants Day: Black Struggles in a Global Context
 
Nunu Kidane, Priority Africa Network: Nunu gave a comprehensive overview of the current realities faced by African migrants. Ebola, criminalization, stigma and resistance are all being confronted as African’s are on the move, across the continent and throughout the world, driven by economic, political and social forces.  Nunu’s presentation is available to members of the network at this time.
Kambale Musavuli, Friends of the Congo, Hands Up United: Kambale shared about the importance of connecting Ferguson to Black struggles across the world, as well as lifting up the visibility of African and Caribbean people in solidarity with Ferguson. Through networks such as BIN, we create the space to educate, connect and unite.


Kinship Updates
  • Families for Freedom - Executive Action: The Latest Felony Disenfranchisement - Abraham Paulos, Executive Director of Families for Freedom shared analysis on how the administrative relief measures, particularly the “felons not families” enforcement priorities shift focus to migrants entangled in the criminal justice system, and how, because of profiling, discriminatory targeting and law enforcement cooperation with ICE, black immigrant communities will still be at greater disproportionate risk of deportation.
  • African American/Black Woman’s Cultural Alliance  – Free Marissa Now Campaign Update- http://www.freemarissanow.org/ - Sumayya Coleman, Organizer with Free Marissa Now shared an updated on Marissa Alexander’s continued struggle for justice, her decision to accept a plea offer, including continued jail time and the work that the campaign will continue to support Marissa and call attention to violence against Black women, both domestically and at the hands of the state.
 
Resources

#ReuniteHaitianFamilies Online Rally!

With the DHS announcement of a Haitian Reunification Parole program, we will unite our voices to call for a program that includes all 110,000 families  with approved petitions. Join us all day on Wednesday October 29:Online Rally

  • Share stories, pictures and messages about reunification means for your family.
  • Show your support using the hashtag #ReuniteHaitianFams
  • Use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+ to show your support using hashtag – #ReuniteHaitianFams. (Use this sign: Selfie-#ReuniteHaitianFams)
  • Join the campaign at www.ReuniteHaitianFamilies.com

 


Top 10 Reasons to Reunite Haitian American Families

Over 110,000 Haitian American Families are waiting to be reunited with their loved ones, over four years since the devastating earthquake of 2010. These families need relief now, and you can help! Share this “Top 10″ list with your networks, sign the petition and demand a Haitian Family Reunification Parole Program, now! Download the Flier in ENGLISH and CREOLE

Top 10 Reasons to Reunite Haitian American Families

Top 10 Reasons to Reunite Haitian American Families

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Video: Envisioning A World with Racial Justice and Migrant Rights

Envisioning A World with Racial Justice and Migrant Rights

Closing panel

Pictured- Moderator: Elandria Williams, Highlander Center with Panelists: Philip Agnew, Dream Defenders, Monica Hernandez, Southeast Immigrant Rights Network, Ruth Jeannoel, Power U, Gerald Lenoir, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Jasson Perez, Black Youth Project.

 

Following three days of convening at the 2014  Black Immigration Network Kinship Assembly, these community-based movement leaders share their vision of movement building at the intersections amongst our kinship assembly. An intergenerational panel of movement leaders reflected on topics such as Youth engagement, the significance of Black-led labor movement, criminalization, immigration detention, mass incarceration and the exciting things being done to ensure workers protections and economic thriving across the nation.

View the video here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/48019728 .