Directly Impacted Immigrant Communities Reject Backroom Dealmaking

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 23, 2019

Contact: Jasmine Nazarett, jnazarett@communitychangeaction.org, 954-471-9080; Sheridan Aguirre, sheridan@unitedwedream.org, 202-793-2267; Yesenia Padilla, SBCC,  yesenia@alliancesd.org, 415-269-3178; Nekessa Opoti, UndocuBlack Network, nekessa@undocublack.org,  612-460-0656

WASHINGTON, DC--After news outlets reported that some “immigrant rights groups” would be meeting with President Trump, Vice President Pence and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner on Thursday to discuss the Trump-McConnell deal, national networks representing immigrant rights groups across the country and along the Southern Border, FIRM Action, United We Dream, UndocuBlack Network and the Southern Border Communities Coalition issued the following statement in response:

“The groups negotiating behind the backs of immigrant communities don’t speak for the people actually affected by these policies. For those of us who represent and are accountable to immigrant communities helping Trump to advance his racist agenda is unconscionable.

“One of the Trump administration’s primary goals is to deport and destroy immigrant and refugee communities. Donald Trump took protections away from over one million people by ending the DACA and TPS programs, tear gassed children and put more than 800,000 federal workers plus an unknown number of government contractors out of work. In response to a crisis Trump created, they offered temporary, harmful solutions that walk back protections for children, families and further fund and militarize our borders.

“Now, a group of so-called ‘immigration advocates’ have agreed to serve as the White House’s puppets and help them advance their trojan horse deal. Groups actually representing immigrant and southern border communities are united in calling on Trump and Congress to reopen the government and shut down the racist wall. Together, we will continue to stand with immigrants and will fiercely defend our communities like we’ve been doing for decades.”


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UndocuBlack Network Dismisses Trump’s Disingenuous Deal

January 19th, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: nekessa@undocublack.org; 612-460-0656

Washington, DC - President Donald Trump is offering an immoral and shady deal to Congress. In exchange for his pet project, the wall, Trump is proposing that the Democrats give him $5.7 billion.

As part of this deal, Trump proposed that Congress eviscerate asylum and due process policies; increase border agents and immigration judges; and institute unspecified border technology. As a  distraction, he has also proposed to temporarily extend protections for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders.

Immigrants continue to face uncertainty, and federal workers have not been paid for almost a month because this administration refuses to do its job. Instead of quickly re-opening the government, they continue to keep the country hostage.

UndocuBlack Network’s National Policy Director Patrice Lawrence says, “This phantom deal is a non-starter because it still includes a wall on the southern border.  Secondly, the proposal suggests long-term, dangerous changes to asylum provisions, immigration court, due process and the immigration system at large. Additionally, “humanitarian assistance” is likely code for more detention centers, exasperating harmful family separation policies.  Finally, the three-year extension for DACA and TPS is a slap in the face for our communities whose protections the Trump administration stole in the first place.”


Trump’s “deal” shows that his power is being threatened. Trump and his administration continue to create chaos: DACA, TPS, government shutdown, the Muslim Ban, asylum restrictions and this #TrumpShutdown are all his manufactured crises.

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UndocuBlack Network (UBN) is a multigenerational network of formerly and currently undocumented Black people that fosters kinships, facilitates access to resources and contributes to transforming the realities of our people, so we are thriving and living our fullest lives.


Democratic Control of the House must be accompanied by bold, vigorous oversight of the Trump Administration: Stand up for Stand up for the Black, Indigenous, Immigrant Communities

November 7, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Info@undocublack.org; 612-460-0656

WASHINGTON, DC - The 2018 midterm elections brought wins for the Democrats gaining control of the House of Congress. Hard work from organizers including many Black and immigrant voices delivered a more inclusive Congress, as well as local and state offices, which will include the first Muslim American and Native American women; more LGBTQ, Black, Latinx and African immigrant representatives.  

Many of these electeds ran on platforms with promises to seek justice denied and thwarted in the past two years and have committed to challenging Trump in the courts on behalf of immigrants and other marginalized communities.  Key changes to state amendments include the passage of amendment 4 in Florida will see the enfranchisement of approximately 1.4 million people in Florida, overturning slavery-era laws.  

“These new members of Congress including the women from Native American, Muslim and LGBTQ backgrounds made history. They were elected with the hope that they will protect the rights of the working class, immigrants and underrepresented populations who are overrepresented in the Trump Administration’s attacks. They must protect the communities that elected them.  Their win tonight must be accompanied with diligent oversight of the Trump Administration. The 116th Congress means time for the Democrats to act and use their newfound power wisely.  We demand that DREAM/TPS legislation be considered within the first 100 days of Congress.”

Patrice Lawrence, National Policy and Advocacy Director, UndocuBlack Network.

“Last night the Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives showing a clear repudiation of the hatred, injustice, cruelty of the Trump’s Republican Party and administration. The American people as a whole are demanding a better country for all of us. A country in which marginalized communities, especially immigrant communities, can live, thrive and exist in this country without fear. We fully expect Democrats to use their newly acquired power to move us closer to that vision and we are ready to hold them accountable if they don’t.”

Jonathan Jayes-Green, Director, UndocuBlack Network.

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Trump Administration’s Evil Proposal on Public Charge criminalizes the working-class  

September 24, 2018

For Immediate Release

Email: Info@undocublack.org


A proposed rule change by the Trump administration egregiously redefines longstanding guidelines on “public charge”. This racist and xenophobic regulation demonizes and punishes immigrants who may access support, fulfilling nutrition, health and housing needs.

Washington, DC - On Saturday night, the Trump administration announced a new proposed rule that would dramatically change the admissibility of immigrants to become lawful, permanent residents in the United States.  The egregious rule is careless and will destabilize immigrants and their families if they or their families may need several life-sustaining health, housing, nutrition, and other assistance.

UndocuBlack Network’s co-founder and director, Jonathan Jayes-Green says, “This ruling effectively criminalizes parents and immigrants for feeding, housing and caring for themselves and their families. It is one of the vilest demonstrations of white supremacy from this administration that wants to radically reduce the number of legal immigrants - particularly Black and brown immigrants - entering this country for years to come. It is another attempt to radically reshape the makeup of this country. As people who believe in justice and freedom, we must fight it until the end.

Below is the official statement from the UndocuBlack Network:

“This recently announced proposed rule change will demonize and exempt immigrants from achieving permanent residency for participation in nutrition, health, housing and other assistance programs. It is the cruelest Donald Trump proposal yet and solidifies what we knew all along: this administration is invested in destroying Black and brown communities.

This proposal, like other Stephen Miller White House policies like the Muslim Ban, ending DACA and TPS, has the same racist and xenophobic motivations. Donald Trump shamelessly seeks to legally codify class and racial discrimination all while lining the pockets of the already wealthy.

This administration is creating an invisible wall, using racist policy and bypassing Congress, to drastically reduce the number of immigrants in this country. However, the oversight will be the masses and we absolutely refuse to stay silent.

Attacks that paint people of color as undeserving when they receive the kinds of help that many low-income to  moderate-income white families receive is a tactic that Black communities understand all too well. 

Punishing immigrants and their U.S. citizen family members builds upon the shameful but effective practice of stigmatizing public programs and the people who need them.

Black communities have learned about the damning ripple effects of racist policies: REAL ID, vote suppression laws, increased police enforcement, increased sentences and mandatory sentencing minimums.

This announcement comes at a time when this administration threatens the future of over 300,000 TPS and DED families and 750,000 DACA recipients. This regulation would obstruct and limit their ability to adjust their status in the future. We expect that millions of Black immigrants and their families will be impacted.

We must fight back with every tool possible to prevent this proposed rule from ever taking effect. There is no power like the power of the people and we intend to prove that while encouraging every ally to do so as well.

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DECISION TO EXTEND TPS FOR SOMALIA DOES NOT GO FAR ENOUGH TO PROTECT VULNERABLE PEOPLE SEEKING PROTECTION

July 19th, 2018

For Immediate Release/available online

Contact: Info@undocublack.org

Washington, DC - Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has announced an extension and not a redesignation of  Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Somalia. DHS has put Somali TPS holders on an 18 month notice. This decision does not include thousands of other Somali nationals that would eligible for TPS and is a continuation of this administration’s closing off the border to people seeking safety and protection.

 

Policy Director for the UndocuBlack Network, Patrice Lawrence said , “We continue to hear heart-wrenching stories from our UndocuBlack family who are devastated by anti immigration policy. The Cold War and America’s war on terror have continuously contributed to the crisis in Somalia. For the American government to turn its government to people who want access to basic needs like food, security and shelter is unconscionable. We needed a re-designation, the conditions in Somalia have worsened since this year and definitely since the last re-designation in 2012. We know that this will cause added instability for several mixed status Somali families who are simultaneously being denied asylum. This is not enough.”

 

Somali TPS holder Ali Abdul who has shown immense fortitude at this really difficult time is devastated for his friends, “While I feel so relieved to know that my TPS got extended, I feel so sorry for my friends who I talk to every night. They will not be able to apply for TPS. I was hoping they would get a chance too, a lot of them still have check ins with ICE and can be deported at any time.”

 

This  administration has demonstrated its hatred of Muslims and Trump has been specifically xenophobic to Somalis. In a couple of visits to Minnesota, a state with the largest population of Somalis in the US, the President has shown nothing but contempt to a group of people who simply want the opportunity to exist. Like everyone of us, they have the right to work, have families and enjoy the freedom to simply be.

 

Like millions of people, Ali is  directly impacted by white supremacist policies. The administration’s decisions are a direct attack on their humanity and continues to create long-term trauma on families.

 

UndocuBlack Network continues to demand a permanent solution for all TPS and DED holders. The next TPS related news will be the expiration of legal status for Sudanese TPS holders which takes effect on November 2, 2018.

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UndocuBlack Network says Secretary Nielsen’s decision NOT to re-designate TPS for Yemen is  cold-hearted and cruel; denies U.S. culpability.

July 5th, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Info@undocublack.org

Washington, DC - Today, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen announced an extension and not a redesignation of  Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Yemen. This means an 18 month extension for only current TPS holders and does not allow new applicants to apply for TPS.

Policy Director for the UndocuBlack Network, Patrice Lawrence said , “This decision should have been an easy one  - re-designation, a new protection, for all Yemenis in the United States since  this crisis began. Not only is this decision cold-hearted and cruel, it also demonstrates blatant disregard for the lives the U.S. is responsible for.  There is a civil war in Yemen fueled with U.S. weapons and involvement. How does secretary Nielsen acknowledge that Yemen has ongoing armed conflict yet does not offer safety? Where is her conscience?”

UndocuBlack Network shares that it is an ethical and moral responsibility to protect Yemenis from suffering and death particularly because the American government has contributed to the current civil war and humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

 

UndocuBlack Network continues to demand a permanent solution for all TPS holders. A TPS decision is due for Somalia TPS July 19, 2018, and we appeal for a redesignation; like Yemen, Somalia faces an insurmountable humanitarian crisis and ongoing armed conflict.

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UndocuBlack Network condemns SCOTUS anti-worker decision: Supreme Court ruling threatens the future of unions and its members

June 27, 2018

For Immediate Release Contact: Info@undocublack.org

Washington, DC - In the last couple of days, the US Supreme Court has made rulings that are a direct attack on our communities and will take centuries to undo. Today, in Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the judges have decided that workers are not required to pay fees into public sector unions that represent them. The conservative judges are imposing their false morality ideologies to control women’s reproductive rights, ban Muslims from coming into this country and to favor billionaires against working class people.

The UndocuBlack Network stands in solidarity with working people. Unions are especially important for Black people, immigrants and people of color as a bargaining tool for better pay and better working conditions. Unions have made our people, our economy and our movements stronger throughout history. The Supreme Court has demonstrated that it continues to favor corporate interests over the wellbeing of working families. The majority of the judges are complicit in upholding white supremacist ideology where capitalism rules at the expense of our communities.

Unions are needed now more than ever. We must continue to fight!

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UndocuBlack Network condemns SCOTUS ruling. SCOTUS is complicit in institutional discrimination and xenophobic Muslim Ban. Shame.

June 26, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Info@undocublack.org

Washington, DC - The Supreme Court of the United States announced this morning that they uphold the Trump administration’s third iteration of the Muslim Ban. The 5-4 ruling in the Trump vs. Hawaii et al case comes after outrage and concern about the impact of such a draconian policy.

The Muslim Ban was a promise from Trump’s presidential campaign and restricts legal migration, temporary visas from several Muslim majority countries - Libya, Iran, Syria, Somalia and Yemen as well as two non-Muslim countries- North Korea and Venezuela. The approval of this ban sanctions institutional discrimination and enforces the criminalizing of Muslim communities.

Below is the official statement from the UndocuBlack Network:

“This decision by SCOTUS is a shame and a disgrace. The Muslim Ban is islamophobic and xenophobic; the Supreme Court is now complicit. It is a continuation of Trump’s white supremacist agenda seeking to end migration of Black and Brown people.  

The Muslim Ban, like all immigration sanctions brought under this White House, including ending Temporary Protected Status and DACA, are vicious attacks on our communities.

The Department of Homeland Security’s statement supporting the ban underscores false narratives and stereotypes about people of color that we reject and condemn. We will not stand by this administration’s dehumanizing of Muslims.

This ruling is immoral. The Muslim Ban violates civil rights, human rights and basic human decency. Shame on the majority of the Supreme Court. Shame on this administration.”

The UndocuBlack Network along with other advocates continue to fight and will host a congressional briefing in Washington, DC this Thursday, June 28th to advocate for extension of Temporary Protected Status for Yemen and Somalia.

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