June 20, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that put an end to separating immigrant families at the U.S./Mexico border.
Observers say that the order does not state what the 45th president plans to do about the 2,342 children already separated from their families. According to diversity.com, NBC news reported that family detention centers might not be able to house the influx of families crossing the border.
Succumbing to considerable public pressure, the president issued an order stating that families will be detained together unless there is apparent danger to the child. Although no federal law exists dictating that families be separated, the administration insists that the “zero tolerance” policy at the border would act as a deterrent.
“The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” Trump reportedly said, according to NBC News. “Not on my watch.”
With all that being said, there is reportedly some concern in the Black community that too much attention is being paid to the separation at the border policy. After all, only people from Latin American nations are affected, they say.
In the meantime, news reports state that the administration is preparing to deport approximately 7,000 Ghanaians from the U.S. because they have overstayed their visas or broken the law, according to Citi News.
Trump announced in April plans to end Deferred Enforced Departure status for Liberian immigrants. According to The Guardian newspaper, approximately 4,000 Liberians in the U.S. hold the protected immigration status known as DED, which ended March 31. Observers say the president told those affected by his decision they have one year to get their affairs in order before they have to leave the U.S. voluntarily or face deportation.
Carl Dix, founding member and national spokesman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, told the AmNews that when you “give a fascist regime their first win such as illegally separating Latino children from their parents, the next group to be attacked will be African and Caribbean immigrants.”
Dix added, “Let’s act to stop it now.”
Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) said, “All people of good faith must continue to resist Donald Trump’s dangerous and discriminatory policies.” The veteran lawmaker was responding to a question from the AmNews concerning a possible lack of compassion by some in the Black community.
“Black people naturally see the distinction,” Dr. Leonard Jeffries explained. “You can see the argument—they don’t give a damn about our families.”
Jeffries continued, “Systems analysis says we have to fight for these babies, even though they are Latino, but the paralysis of analysis—Yes, but what about us? It is a complex thing—can’t make it simple—we will have to stand with them because of our humanity.”
“These children and their families continue to be used as leverage by this president to enact divisive immigration policies, including his unnecessary $25 billion wall,” argued Clarke. She included in an email to the AmNews further evidence of how the immigration issue is being used as a tool of division in American society.
“Additionally, the immigration bills proposed by Congressional Republicans last week ends the diversity visa lottery program, whose recipients are typically from Africa, Asia and the Caribbean and fail to protect Dreamers,” Clarke said. “I cannot and will not support any bill that does not protect the most vulnerable among us.”
“This administration is using babies as pawns to build a wall on the border and using ‘rule of law’ as their excuse to commit these inhumane atrocities,” stated Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, during a news conference in Washington, D.C., June 18.
June 20, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), speaking from the floor of the House of Representatives said, “Parents and their children have a legal right to seek asylum in this country, no matter how they get here. Federal authorities should not lock [them] up or charge them with made-up crimes. Thoughtful and compassionate nations that are committed to international human rights law should lead by example—by offering kind words, open ears and helping hands.”
New York-based community organizer Rosa Clemente told the AmNews that she was “surprised” to hear, particularly in New York City, there were anti-Latino immigrant sentiments. The independent journalist, hip-hop activist and a vice presidential candidate for the Green Party back in 2008, added, “Where else is there a politically/culturally bond between the African-American, Puerto Rican and Dominican communities?”
Clemente continued, “Maybe we no longer have the same shared experiences that existed in the 1960s. However, all of us must come to understand the bottom-line of white supremacy is to terrorize us into submission.”