Black Immigrants in the United States Have Been Targeted by Trump – Teen Vogue

While the first Muslim ban garnered national protests and was halted in January 2017, it was reincarnated in the form of an Africa ban, restricting immigration from six majority-Muslim countries in Africa. With Libya and Somalia already on the list, there was something different about this one. Passed shortly after the impeachment saga, it was sneakier and more insidious. It also directly affected and separated my family. On January 31, 2020, Trump signed an executive order restricting visas for individuals from the following countries: Myanmar, Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Nigeria. My heart sank for my young cousins abroad who would no longer be able to emigrate here.

Days before the ban, in a 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court upheld the implementation of an immigrant wealth test, stating that those who may depend on government assistance (i.e. Medicaid, food stamps, et cetera) would be deemed ineligible for visas. Black migrants live primarily in the Global South, where one in seven of the worlds population lives in urban poverty. This test reinforces efforts to prevent Black and brown immigrants from coming to America, further revealing the ugly underbelly of the United States as a country predicated on white fear.

On October 13, near Dallas, more than 200 Cameroonian and Congolese asylum-seekers were denied approval and sent to Prairieland Detention Center. According to the Los Angeles Times, some of the detained migrants say they were coerced by ICE officials who choked, beat, and threatened to kill them into signing deportation documents. Public outcries for help were ignored as two days later, they were forced to board a plane and return home. On October 7, human rights organizations filed a complaint with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties on behalf of eight of the detained migrants allegations of abuse and coercion. (A spokesperson for ICE told Teen Vogue that the agency could not comment because of the outstanding complaint filed with the DHS, but said that in general, reports of sensationalist, unsubstantiated allegations...should be treated with the greatest of skepticism. The spokesperson said the agency is firmly committed to the safety and welfare of all those in its custody.)

Bordering Nigeria, Cameroon is ravaged by war under the French Rapid Intervention Battalion (BIR), initially backed by U.S. forces in 2015 by the Obama administration. According to Amnesty International, there has been a surge in attacks upon English-speaking minority groups (Anglophones) and those living in Anglophone regions, leaving many injured, abducted, or killed. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are reports of exploitation, deaths, and serious injury of children laboring in mines as the result of Euro-American powers wanting to monopolize control over prized minerals in the region.

The United States desecrates, deprives, and defiles whole regions, just to tell their inhabitants they cant come over here because theyre too Black, too brown, and too poor. Though President Trumps wife is an immigrant, her whiteness and financial status absolve her of the vitriol and systemic barriers so many of us face on the rocky road to citizenship. According to tracking by the Refugee and Immigrant Center For Education and Legal Services (RAICES), as COVID-19 skyrocketed, so did the number of detained Black Haitian immigrants at Karnes County Residential Center, jumping from 29% to 44%. RAICES found that the bonds they pay for Haitian immigrants are 54% higher than what they have to pay for other immigrants, at a whopping $16,700 on average. Consequently, Black immigrants stay in ICE jails longer. Furthermore, theres the issue of the prison-to-deportation pipeline. Though Black immigrants make up 7% of the noncitizen population, because Black communities are over-policed, we constitute 20% of those facing deportation, according to the ACLU.

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Black Immigrants in the United States Have Been Targeted by Trump - Teen Vogue

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