Haiti Adivsory

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES

May 16, 2017

CONTACT: Hayley Burgess

(202) 384-1279; media@nilc.org

NILC AND UNDOCUBLACK SEEK TO UNCOVER THE TRUTH BEHIND TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TPS DECISION

Civil Rights and Social Justice Groups to Urge the Trump Administration to Re-Authorize Temporary Protected Status for Haitians

WASHINGTON – Days before the Trump Administration announces its decision about whether to re-authorize Temporary Protected Status for Haitian migrants, the Associated Press exposed leaked emails from high-ranking Department of Homeland Security officials requesting data on Haitian use of public benefits and crime rates. Although Department of Homeland Security officials have denied any connection with the timing of their decision, the news sent shockwaves through the Haitian community. Several leaders will gather to discuss the impending decision and explain how failure to renew TPS would affect immigrant families. NILC and Undocublack will announce a legal action to learn more about the motives behind the DHS request for public benefits usage and crime rates

WHAT:

Telephonic press briefing on Haitian Temporary Protected Status

WHO:

Olivia Golden, executive director, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

Jonathan Jayes Green, co-founder and network coordinator, Undocublack Network

Alvaro Huerta, staff attorney, National Immigration Law Center

Lys Isma, current TPS recipient from Haiti

Tia Oso, National Organizer, Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI)

Reshma Shamasunder (moderator) deputy director, programs, National Immigration Law Center

WHEN:

Wednesday, May 17, noon ET/9 am PT

CALL-IN:

877‑876‑9174, ask for Haiti conference call when prompted.

 

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Help Us Celebrate UndocuBlack's One Year Anniversary!

It’s hard to believe that today is our ONE year anniversary since we convened the historic Undocumented and Black Convening in Miami. 

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Since then, we have not stopped working to change the narrative around our lives and advocating for the humanity of our people.

We hope you will make a donation today and support the UndocuBlack Network’s efforts.

Here are a few of the feats we've conquered:

  • We established the UndocuBlack Network. 

  • Held local convenings in 3 key locations: Los Angeles, New York and the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia area.  These gatherings offered free legal consultations, featured Mental Wellness workshops, Know Your Rights trainings as well as discussed topical issues pertaining to our unique communities.

UndocuBlack Network Co-Founder Yannick Diouf leads the opening session at our DC, Maryland Virginia Convening

UndocuBlack Network Co-Founder Yannick Diouf leads the opening session at our DC, Maryland Virginia Convening

UndocuBlack Network member Ronnie James leads the mental wellness workshop at the New York convening.

UndocuBlack Network member Ronnie James leads the mental wellness workshop at the New York convening.

 

  • Organized and led our first Congressional Briefing this Summer highlighting The State of Undocumented Black Immigrants, in collaboration with the National Immigration Law Center, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and African Communities Together. Our presentations included the voice of a Black undocumented middle-aged mother, perspectives from current DACA recipients and critical analyses of Comprehensive Immigration Reform from those who are directly affected.

A packed room of congressional staffers listened as our presenters covered anti-blackness in legislation and other issues on the Hill.

A packed room of congressional staffers listened as our presenters covered anti-blackness in legislation and other issues on the Hill.

  • Successfully fought and won one of our members’ deportation case in conjunction with United We Dream and the Student Immigrant Movement
  • Hosted 3 dynamic fellows who focused on their individual areas of interest: compiling resources specific to our community's needs, delving into public policy that acutely affects Black undocumented immigrants and engaging in storytelling that captures our undocumented Black complexities

  • Hosted 10 community calls to keep our membership abreast of what we’re working on, maintain our kinship with each other and to build on the progress achieved so far

  • Shared our stories in the media, participated in panels and led workshops on Black undocumented issues

  • Organized 2 webinars alongside the National Immigration Law Center on Workplace Issues and Health Policy for Undocumented Immigrants

And we’re not stopping now. 

Over the next couple of months, we are engaging in an organizational building process with our membership to fortify our vision for 2017 and forward.

We recognize that though our communities have been in a state of emergency for the past few years, we are under special vulnerability due to the election of Donald Trump.

Now, more than ever, we are ready to stand up and fight back for our communities.

Now, more than ever, we are ready to protect and show our community and other vulnerable populations the radical love we’ve dreamed of.

But to do so, we need to build capacity. 

All of our work in the past year has been done by a group of dedicated volunteers. With the increased threats towards our community in the coming years, we need your support to build the adequate infrastructure to meet the challenges ahead. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.

We thank you for your support, for believing in us and for supporting our leadership.

Sincerely,

UndocuBlack Core Leadership


Donate to the UndocuBlack Network!

ANONYMOUS

In celebrating our 1 year anniversary since the Undocumented and Black Convening in Miami, we are relaunching our UndocuBlack Blog. Here is our first submission from one of our members who prefers to stay anonymous. If you are a Black undocumented person and you are interested in submitting a story, please contact info@undocublack.org.

I was born in Nigeria in February 1980. My father came alone to the United States in 1981 to attend university in Brooklyn, NY, on a scholarship he was awarded by the Nigerian government. A year later my mother came with me and my older sister to join my father in Harlem. I was 2 years old at the time and my older sister was 4.

A year or two later, the corrupt Nigerian government stopped paying my father’s tuition. They sent him a lone airplane ticket to return to Nigeria, which showed that they did not take me, my mother and sister into consideration. As a result, my father did not return and instead opted to stay in New York to find work and seek a better life for the family. In 1985, our U.S. visas expired and all four of us became illegal residents of the United States.

When I was 17 years old, I wanted to start my life out right and attempted to get a summer job and a driver's permit. It was then my mother explained to me that there was a problem with my status in this country. Ever since then, my life has been full of let downs. The way immigration laws are in the U.S., I did not have an option for my sister and I to get legal status without returning to Nigeria. Doing that would’ve been a big gamble because it was unknown if and when we would be able to return to the United States.

However, my parents had four more children here in the United States beginning in 1983. The law states that if you have a U.S. citizen child that is at least 21 years old, they can sponsor you to become a legal permanent resident. In 2006 when my younger brotherwho is a U.S. citizenturned 21, he petitioned for my parents and they were able to get their green cards. Furthermore, my mother became eligible for U.S. citizenship in 2013, as a result of living in the country for more than 5 years as a permanent resident. I was told that as a U.S. citizen, my mother could now petition for my sister and I, but that was half true. Such a petition would have been feasible if we were both under the age of 21 and we were both well into our thirties when my mother got her citizenship.

So basically my sister and I are stranded here with no other options, not even qualifying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) as that is for people who were no older than 30 when it was passed in 2012. Our hopes rested on the expansion of DACA that would’ve removed the age limit from the program. This would’ve given us social security numbers, work permits, and protection from deportation. Unfortunately, with the recent SCOTUS decision, our hopes were shot down. To say all this has been difficult would be the understatement of the century. People often talk about the “Dreamers”, well I am a DREAMer and have been dreaming for almost 20 years with no end in sight.