In 1995, we warned in our magazine Africamerica that one of the great problems of humanity would soon be forced migration––mainly because of the wars and internal crises that would take place in various countries (even if these crises were often instigated from abroad).
In December 2019, Congresswoman Karen Bass, along with other Congressmembers such as Jesús “Chuy” Garcia and Pramila Jayapal, proposed the New Way Forward Act (HR 5383), with the intention of creating “due process protection for immigrants and ending the mandatory detention that they are not entitled to bail while a judge reviews their case, which sometimes makes them subject to years of imprisonment.” That legislation also proposed ending the 287(g) program, which allows local police to act as federal immigration agents. That legislative proposal advocated decriminalizing migration by ending federal criminal prosecutions for “improper entry and re-entry into the U.S.”
Today the immigration situation has become a big problem for the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden. The events that occurred on the border with Mexico between the months of August and September, when thousands of Haitians and other Afro-descendant migrants were abused by policing authorities, was a display of xenophobia and racism. The world was shocked to witness, via media and social networks, the terrible treatment Haitians suffered—so similar to how Black people were treated in the time of slavery––as well as the procedures of mass deportation.
Projections are that the migrant population from Central America, and the thousands of migrants who are crossing Panama’s Darién area, is increasing every day. News agencies report that migrants who find themselves in this area live in subhuman conditions, where rapes and deaths have become common. The German news agency, DW, says that by Oct. 15, 2021 “about 95 thousand people” had crossed this dangerous border looking for the new mecca: the United States. DW journalist Rielke
Havertz wrote on Sept. 21, 2021, that 200,000 migrants were detained by the border patrol (USA-MEXICO) and more than 1,500,000 from October 2020 to 2021.
Two decades after the United Nations World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa in 2001, racism, discrimination and xenophobia have unfortunately increased vertiginously in the world at the same speed as the COVID-19 pandemic—and it is affecting millions of Afrodescendants.
New policies and new legislation are urgent and necessary on the part of States and multilateral organizations such as the United Nations, Organization of American States (OAS), Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), to stop these dehumanizing policies.
Jesús “Chucho” Garcia is a Venezuelan writer and activist who has served as a diplomat in Venezuela’s embassies in Angola, Zambia, Sao Tome and Principe, Mali and Burkina Faso. “Chucho” Garcia also served as general consul of the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela in New Orleans, he is founder of the Afro-Venezuelan Network and works with the Fundación Afroamerica y Diaspora Africana. He can be reached via email at: