UndocuBlack Network Rejects White House Immigration “Principles”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 9, 2017

Contact: info@undocublack.org, 240-903-0189

Last night the occupant of the White House released a list of immigration "principles" that they believe must be prioritized in addressing our immigration reform.

The white supremacist wish list includes: Southern border enforcement and interior enforcement, as well as so-called merit based Immigration systems.  The preposterous recommendations not only prescribe inhumane responses to asylees, unaccompanied minors and far-reaching refugee caps, but also restricts visas, severely undercutting legal migration for loved ones of U.S. citizens and green card holders, especially from developing countries.

We however, as undocumented people remain unapologetic in our commitment to pass a clean DREAM Act that provides permanent protections to our young.  We do not support enforcement of any kind nor any measure that criminalizes the rest of our community's existence. That's our demand and we are committed to it.

“It's very clear to us that the only ‘principle’ this White House is committed to is further upholding white supremacy through our immigration system,” said Jonathan Jayes-Green, Co-Founder and National Coordinator of the UndocuBlack Network.

National Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for the UndocuBlack Network, Patrice Lawrence issued the following statement:

“As with all their immigration proposals this year, the Trump Administration led by Steve Miller and Jeff Sessions continues to perpetuate a false rhetoric about immigrants, especially those who are Black or have close proximity to Blackness. This “othering” is not new, in fact it is consistent with historic white nationalism. Similar sentiments have been echoed since the end of slavery.

“The fact is that the government currently has access to over 800,000 lives, some of whom applied for but were denied DACA. We must hold Trump accountable. He irresponsibly ended the DACA program and now must listen to those whom he put at risk. This is not about doing immigrants any favors, the only option we see is a clean DREAM Act.”

ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS DENOUNCE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S BULLYING VIA DHS SANCTIONS ON NATIONALS FROM CAMBODIA, ERITREA, GUINEA AND SIERRA LEONE

For Immediate Release: September 19, 2017

Contact: Ricardo Ramírez, rramirez@advancementproject.org

               Abraham Paulos, abraham@blackalliance.org

Washington -- Advocacy organizations representing immigrant communities of color are denouncing punitive measures from the Trump administration targeting Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. The administration’s latest actions continue a trend of attacks against immigrants, especially underrepresented immigrants of color, and effectively condemns entire immigrant populations to poverty.

Recently, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Elaine Duke, announced visa sanctions on Cambodia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Guinea immediately halting all issuance of temporary visas  for those nationals. While the administration cited the reason being that these countries do not accept deportees back from the United States, the organizations question the measure. Guinea and Eritrea will be the most severely impacted by this announcement, with Cambodia and Sierra Leone mostly impacting government officials ability to travel to United States.

Advocates are also weary of what is to come of the list of “recalcitrant countries” which  includes over 30 countries, many of which are African or Asian.

Patrice Lawrence, National Advocacy and Policy Coordinator for the UndocuBlack Network explains, “The Trump administration has effectively issued a threat to these four countries and the others that have maintained their sovereignty; we cannot allow DHS’ attempt to erase our African and Asian  brothers and sisters.” Lawrence continued,  “We understand that these sanctions are only some of many tools of isolation that have been used for centuries. If communities are torn apart, relatives prevented from joining their loved ones, entrepreneurs unable to advance their businesses, they imagine they can break us.  We will not allow this white supremacist to issue his threats against our communities under the falsehood of protecting Americans.”  

“As the Trump administration continues to reveal themselves as anti black, anti immigration, and white supremacist, we must continue to show them the face of triumph and resilience. The recent visa sanctions on Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone are a continuation of failed and racist policies that will be challenged on all fronts. Although this ban -- yet another one -- covers mostly government officials, the limiting of travel to the U.S from people, and countries of color is concerning,” said Denzel, an advocate in the UndocuBlack Network

“These visa sanctions target immigrants that have escaped war and global health crises.  Like most of Trump’s policies, the sanctions are truly inhumane and chip away at the ability of Black people and immigrants to live, thrive, and pursue opportunities in the U.S.,” said Opal Tometi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Co-Founder, Black Lives Matter Global Network.

"The Trump administration's visa sanctions on these four countries target some of the most vulnerable communities, including refugees who have survived unimaginable trauma," said Quyen Dinh, executive director of SEARAC. "Instead of attacking loving, hard-working families, we must invest our resources in uniting around real, humane, long-lasting solutions that prioritize peace, and build our communities and economy up, not tear them both down. We call on our Congressional leaders to stand with us to protect all families and denounce these sanctions."

“Advancing Justice | AAJC is saddened that the administration is targeting vulnerable refugees and immigrants from Cambodia, Eritrea, Sierra Leone and Guinea who have fled violence, persecution and extreme poverty,” said Megan Essaheb, Director of Immigration Advocacy at Advancing Justice | AAJC. “The Cambodians that the government seeks to deport were largely born in refugee camps and came here as children knowing no other country than the U.S. as their home. We urge Congress to step up and intervene on behalf of these immigrants and refugees.”

"The State Department should not be strong-arming small African countries into accepting deportees when there are questions about their nationality. This action raises troubling questions about both national sovereignty and individual due process rights," said Amaha Kassa, Executive Director of African Communities Together, an advocacy group for African immigrants in America.

According to DHS, the specific sanctions effective September 13, 2017 are listed below:

·        The U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh, Cambodia has discontinued the issuance of B visas (temporary visitors for business or pleasure) for Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs employees, with the rank of Director General and above, and their families.

·        The U.S. Embassy in Asmara, Eritrea has discontinued the issuance of all B visas (temporary visitors for business or pleasure).

·        The United States Embassy in Conakry, Guinea has discontinued the issuance of B visas (temporary visitors for business or pleasure), and F, J, and M visas (temporary visitors for student and exchange programs) to Guinean government officials and their immediate family members.

·        The United States Embassy in Freetown, Sierra Leone has discontinued the issuance of B visas (temporary visitors for business or pleasure) to Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials and immigration officials.

The organizations taking a stand against the visa sanctions include: UndocuBlack Network, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI),  African Communities Together (ACT), Southeast Asia Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC.  Others are New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC).

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