Recently, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration convened the first-ever Black-led delegation and strategy meeting at the U.S.-Mexico border. The 40-person delegation, which included clergy, organizers, attorneys, and researchers from across the country, gathered to address the acute needs of Black immigrants detained or impacted by border enforcement.
“Given the shifting political landscape, there is an urgent for us to amplify our urgent need and develop an analysis and strategy for long-term engagement of Black migrants throughout the U.S. Mexico Border region,” said Opal Tometi, Executive Director of BAJI and co-founder #BlackLivesMatter.
As the crisis of global displacement reaches its peak, displacing over 65 million people worldwide, oppressed peoples from various countries have begun to arrive in the U.S. Over the last year there has been an increase in the number of African and Caribbean migrants entering the U.S. at the southern border. In fact, migrants seeking refuge from climate disasters, social and political unrest and persecution are arriving daily.
BAJI and allies have organized, raised awareness and provided direct response and advocacy assistance to groups on the ground. The delegation bore witness to the crisis first hand hearing emotional testimony about the harrowing journey from Haiti to the U.S., which included experiences of gender-based violence, illness, and anti-black racism. The delegation developed knowledge of the root causes driving the crisis, and discussed strategies for policy changes and practices to support Black migrant communities on the border.
Tometi continues: “Ultimately, we hope that this convening will raise awareness about the challenges facing Black migrants at the border and lay the groundwork for an investment in resources and infrastructure by the social justice movement for Black border communities.”