FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, February 17, 2022
Jessica Ortiz, [email protected]
Jossie Flor Sapunar (Casa In Action), [email protected]
Assefash Makonnen (Africans.us), [email protected]
“In Black History Month, we cannot address systemic racism without confronting the anti-Blackness in our immigration system.”
San Antonio, TX – On Black Immigrant Advocacy Day of Action, RAICES celebrates the leadership of Black immigrants in the movement to expose and eradicate racism in the U.S. immigration system. RAICES is here to name and call out the pervasive anti-Blackness within the U.S. immigration system, and is in solidarity with Black-led immigrant groups working to dismantle this oppressive system.
On Black Immigrant Advocacy Day of Action, Nicole Morgan, Associate Attorney at RAICES, issued the following statement:
“In the U.S. immigration system, everyone suffers, but if you are Black, the suffering caused by the system is exponentially worse. As a Black person and an immigration attorney who works inside detention centers, I know that Black immigrants are being brutalized, dehumanized, and rendered invisible by the system. Anti-Black racism is ingrained in the U.S. immigration system, from courtrooms to detention centers, just as it is throughout U.S. culture and society at large.
I have witnessed the use of antiquated racist and dehumanizing tropes stemming from chattel slavery that Black people don’t feel pain the same as everyone else, and we can endure more pain than other racial groups. Today that means in credible fear interviews for asylum and in immigration court, Black trauma is dismissed and rejected, and Black immigrants are the least likely to get a positive credible fear finding or win their asylum cases.
During this Black History Month, we cannot address systemic racism without confronting the anti-Blackness in our immigration system. On this day, we are making the plight of Black immigrants visible. We are shining a light on the unjust immigration system that disproportionately harms Black immigrants. On this day, we are saying that Black immigrant lives matter too. That immigrant justice requires racial justice. We will not stop fighting until the current immigration system is abolished and a new system is created that recognizes the humanity and dignity of all people.”
Allen Morris, Policy and Government Affairs Strategist at RAICES, issued the following statement:
“Black Immigrants deserve dignity, respect, and due process. America has failed them in every way imaginable, even during moments of insurmountable distress. Black Immigrant rights are human rights, yet Black immigrants are forced to navigate a system rooted in white supremacy and prejudice, oftentimes alone. The Biden Administration must designate Temporary Protected Status to Cameroon and rescind the heinous immigration policies that intentionally harm Black immigrants. Today and every day, Immigration is a Black issue.”
On Black Immigrant Advocacy Day of Action, RAICES is calling on the Biden administration to end the systemic abuse and provide immediate relief to Black migrants, including:
- Putting an end to the racist and immoral Title 42, a white supremacist, Trump-era legacy that is disproportionately targeting and expelling Black asylum seekers
- Designating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Cameroon and protecting 40,000 Cameroonians from deportation back to extreme danger.
It is no secret that the Biden administration has summarily failed to keep his campaign promises to protect immigrant communities, and the impact has been especially damaging for Black immigrants. President Biden continues to invoke Title 42 – a policy designed by white supremacist Stephen Miller to expel and shut out asylum seekers under the guise of public safety. Under Title 42, the Biden administration has targeted Haitian and other Black asylum seekers with mass and violent expulsions at the U.S-Mexico border, denying them their legal right to request asylum.
Meanwhile, the administration is dragging its feet on designating TPS for Cameroon, despite an ongoing armed conflict that has killed more than 4,000 and displaced more than 700,000 civilians. Last week, Human Rights Watch released a damning report documenting how in 2020, Cameroonians deported from the U.S. were tortured, physically or sexually abused, or assaulted by state agents upon their return. It is clear that current conditions in Cameroon make safe return to Cameroon impossible.
The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit agency that promotes justice by providing free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees. Learn more at raicestexas.org.