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.


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

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

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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