Black Alliance for Justice Immigration, NYU Law School Release Groundbreaking Report on Black Immigrants
New York, NY (September 29, 2016) — Today the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), along with New York University Law School’s Immigrant Rights Clinic released a trailblazing two-part report on the experience of Black immigrants in the U.S. The State of Black Immigrants. sheds light on the unique issues facing the over 3.7 million immigrants in the U.S. from Africa, the Caribbean, Afro-Latino countries, and elsewhere, due in large part to their race. Download the report here.
“As this report shows, Black immigrants encounter major social and economic challenges in the U.S. because of systemic racism,” says Opal Tometi, BAJI’s Executive Director and a co-founder of #BlackLivesMatter.
Notable findings include:
Part I of the report provides recently updated demographic data on immigration status, country of origin, geographic location within the U.S., educational attainment, household income, labor force participation, and eligibility for forms of immigration relief for Black immigrants. Part II focuses on the impact of mass criminalization on Black immigrants providing newly released data on detention and deportation rates for Black immigrants.
The report’s release coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, one of two laws passed in 1996 that expanded the grounds for deportation to include over 20 criminal and noncriminal offenses. According to the report, these laws have overwhelmingly impacted Black immigrants, who tend to live in communities that are subject to over policing and controversial practices such as “stop-and-frisk” and “broken windows policing.”
Some of BAJI’s policy recommendations include: removing convictions as a grounds for deportation and/or exclusion from the U.S., including aggravated felonies and drug offenses; expanding executive action programs that provide relief for Black immigrants; restoring judicial discretion and due process for all individuals who come into contact with the criminal justice and immigration systems; and eliminating the criminal bars to programs such as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).
According to Carl Lipscombe, BAJI’s Policy Manager and a co-author of the report, “Unfortunately, research on Black immigrants is scant because the government does not maintain data on immigrants based on race. But this report shows that racial injustices are pervasive within the immigration system. We urge the government to improve race-based tracking and expand the overall body of research available on Black immigrants.”
Visit www.stateofblackimmigrants.com for more information.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration is a racial justice and migrants’ rights organization that organizes, advocates, and raises public awareness around issues impacting African Americans and Black immigrants. Learn more about us at www.blackalliance.org