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Black Lives Matter is joining the fight against deportations—and it could be a game changer

By Jorge Rivas


The Black Lives Matter movement this week announced it has adopted a 10-point platform that includes a call to end all deportations. It could be a game changer.

Black Lives Matter, which started as a hashtag in 2013, has quickly evolved into a leading civil rights movement that until this week has mainly focused on policing issues that affect the black community. But on Monday the movement adopted a more comprehensive platform developed by the Movement for Black Lives, which has a list of demands, including a call for an “end to the war on Black immigrants.”

Specifically, the group is calling for an end to immigration raids, a halt to deportations and assurances that all immigrants have access to an attorney before going before an immigration judge.

The demands released by the Movement for Black Lives are available online in English and Spanish.The Movement for Black Lives Policy.


The demands released by the Movement for Black Lives are available online in English and Spanish.

“When you think about deportations and immigrants in detention it’s really under the banner of mass criminalization,” said Carl Lipscombe, who was involved in drafting the platform as a member of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), a racial justice and immigrant rights organization. “The issues impacting immigrants are the exact same issues that impact black people in the United States.”

A rising share of the U.S. black population is foreign-born, and they’re disproportionately impacted by many of the same issues facing Latino immigrants. Black immigrants are nearly three times more likely to be detained and deported as a result of an alleged criminal offense, according to the Movement for Black Lives.

But the fight for immigrant rights still has a Latino face in this country. When I asked Lipscombe how often he saw stories about black immigrants in national newspapers or news channels he laughed: “Absolutely never.”

The Black Lives Matter movement could help change that.

By advocating for the rights of black immigrants, Black Lives Matter is targeting the same system that detains and deports all immigrant groups. And that’s creating a real opportunity for synergy between Black Lives Matter and Latino immigrant rights groups to unite in a common brown-and-black front.

“This could serve to build a bridge between the Black Lives Matter movement and the immigrant rights movement,” Lipscombe told Fusion.

“Immigration is an issue that affects us all in one way or another,” he added.

The immigrant rights movement and Black Lives Matter are strong forces to be reckoned with on their own, but together they would become one of the strongest grassroots movements in the country.

“This could serve to build a bridge between the Black Lives Matter movement and the immigrant rights movement”

- Carl Lipscombe

Lipscombe thinks it’s a natural fit, considering Black Lives Matter is focused on policing issues and millions of immigrants are in deportation proceedings as a result of being arrested.

The Obama administration maintains that immigration officials are prioritizing violent criminals for deportation, but the reality is that a broken tail light or possession of small amount of marijuana can land undocumented immigrants in deportation proceedings.

The platform adopted by Black Lives Matter this week calls for the repeal of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1996, which expanded the grounds for deportation to include criminal and noncriminal offenses under state law.

Another demand adopted by Black Lives Matter calls for all immigrants in deportation proceedings to be provided with an attorney. Immigrants facing deportations with lawyers are three times more likely to win their cases than those without attorneys. Yet, two-thirds of immigrants in detention don’t have legal representation, according to a 2014 study by the Stanford Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice.

In addition to the obvious areas of overlap, Lipscombe says the opportunities for collaboration between the immigrant rights and Black Lives Matter movements go beyond policing and immigration issues.

“Immigrants make some of the lowest wages of all groups in the United States, as do black people. And black immigrants tend to make the lowest wages of all immigrants in the United States,” Lipscombe said.

But meeting on common ground is trickier than it seems. Racism is one of the major obstacles to unity; black undocumented immigrants say they don’t always feel welcomed within the immigrant rights movement.

Jonathan Jayes-Green, a 24-year-old Afro-Latino, recently told Fusion he’s heard Latinos in the immigrant rights movement use racial slurs.“Anti-blackness has played a role in the mainstream immigrant rights movement,” Green.

Green, the co-founded the Undocublack Network, is working to “blackify” the narrative about undocumented immigrants in the United States.

jonathan-truth-to-power-rockthevote-immigrationThis man is leading the fight to blackify the undocumented immigrant rights movement


It’s a way of looking at immigration issues more broadly, as something that disproportionately affects people of color, rather than as an atomized issue divided along lines of nationality.

Lipscombe says he’d like to see the immigrant rights movement advocate for immigration reform based on racial justice.

“We really need to look holistically how any reform of the immigration system can benefit all immigrants,” Lipscombe said.










"I'm just trying to make a way out of no way, for my people" -Modejeska Monteith Simpkins









Last edited by sunnubian
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America REALLY doesn't want anything BLACK living here. If you're not an ant, you're in big trouble in America. They can't step on you but they'll definitely shoot you down, choke you to death or incinerate you alive. America does not want Africans living on these shores any more, if she ever did. She does not mind Africans living in cages or dead.

You don't treat bona fide citizens of a country the way Africans are treated here and have been since 1619. The Emancipation Proclamation did nothing for Africans as far as freedom's concerned. When they mention "Americans" or "citizens", we're not included in the equation. What kinds of people DESIRE SLAVES in the first fucking place??? SLAVES!!!!!!! That shows some seriously twisted brain wires of the Calcified Pineal Gland Owners, BIG TIME.

Have we ever been re-classified as full-blooded Humans or is the 3/5th shit still in effect?

Can a 43 million Black Race of individuals, living in this joint, hire collectively, some damn lawyers from some damn where; for some kind of protection for our Black behinds before the Cave Man kills us all? How much would each of us have to pay? The Supreme Court's not going to do a damn thing; how about the World Court?  How about some 43 million African GOFUNDME pages and some sympathy donations from some sympathetic souls, so we can run somefuckin'where for COVER, before bullets start flying in our direction from 300 million guns and a few bomb droppings fall the Blacks' heads and straighten hairs like they've never been straightened before?????? Women will no longer need WEAVES and will be too DEAD to notice.

They're about to do some serious POPULATION CONTROL on our DUMB, BLACK ASSES. Mad because Gabby didn't salute the American Flag, when they're killing our sons like there's no tomorrow and calling us NIGGERS whenever feasible. Congratulations Gabby. Have they ever saluted the Red, Black and Green???????????????????????????

Last edited by Norland

Wow!  And this is what it's gon take. Cuz when one says immigrants especially in this country, folks think HISPANIC.  But since black are every where including in South America...since  99% of African slaves went there....this makes a LOT OF SENSE to include them.  Maybe Blacks here in America will realize that we too are immigrants....some coming to America in the backdoor while others swam across the waters...and few came through the front door.  There is more Amerindians [true heritage of hispanics/latinos] in our family tree than there is massa.  So.  Again.  Why do family squabble among themselves over the color shade....when in fact we are in deed the SAME people?  Also, maybe this will eliminate the color stroke mindset in these areas...especially in Brazil and Argentina.  More Africans went to those places than any of the other countries in South America.  So we have to have a GLOBAL united front.  Cuz let's face, it's WAR all over the place not just in the middle east.  And we see what has happened to citizens we must use strategy to ensure OUR rights not only to America but the entire FREE people who can go about this world wherever they want....whenever they want...WITHOUT resistance.  We can only hope.  BTW:  This is really karma cuz years ago massa and his boys were doing the same thang but they didn't call it emigrating...they called it exploring the land...settling in the land and discovering the "new" world....yet it was actually  STEALING land/islands not theirs.  So.  Now folks want their land/island  back.  And massa have the NERVE to call them...immigrants...illegals.  Ha! Go figure.   But!

Last edited by Kocolicious

This is a very good thing, considering just how Black immigrants have been marginalized and discriminated against when it comes to asylum [and probably naturalization] in this country.

We all remember how the Haitians were treated when it came to immigration, asylum, etc.; we all remember how Haitians were met at sea and turned away far from American ports, and how some were at our ports and still were turned away, or 'interned' in "refugee camps", i.e., American prisons.  

All refugees have been either welcomed or given some type of temporary status in this country except Black refugees, particularly, those from Haiti or Afro-Latinos.  

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