Do Black Lives Matter in the immigrant rights movement?

The immigrant rights movement has never fully addressed the needs of black migrants - Jamila Osman

This is a really important read about the positioning of Black immigrants in the immigrant rights movement. The author argues that the movement's priorities have missed key reforms that are critical for African and Caribbean immigrants. Give it a read.

by Jamila Osman (for NewsGrid)

The Trump administration's decision to rescind DACA, the Obama-era legislation that shielded young immigrants from deportation and gave them work permits, met a fierce wave of protests across the United States.

The immigrant rights movement came out in full defence of Dreamers, the group of almost 800,000 DACA beneficiaries. Activists from as far west as Seattle to as far east as New York City staged walkouts, hosted rallies, shut down traffic, and staged sit-ins in front of Trump Towers. Numerous celebrities added their voice to the fight, with Cher and Lin-Manuel Miranda among those who took to Twitter to champion the cause. It was a vibrant display of nationwide solidarity, and a glimpse at the galvanising potential of the immigrant rights movement.

This flurry of protest and direct action is in stark contrast to the response, or lack thereof, to the Trump administration's decision to terminate the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) designation for Haiti. This would put nearly 60,000 Haitians living in the US at risk of deportation. The Department of Homeland Security granted Haiti TPS designation in January of 2010 in the wake of the 7.0 earthquake that devastated the small island. Known widely as the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere due to imperialist and colonial legacies, Haitian activists say conditions on the island have not improved. Outside of a few protests in Florida, home to the largest population of Haitians living in the US, the silence from the immigrant rights movement and larger community has been deafening. But for those of us who exist at the intersection of xenophobia and anti-black racism, the silence has been unsurprising. The immigrant rights movement has never fully addressed the needs of black migrants in its advocacy work.

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