The Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) affects everyone in this country. Too often, conversations about U.S. immigration reform leave out Black immigrants and are too narrowly focused on impacts here in the U.S. Yet it is important to understand the potential devastating effects of this policy decision relative to its economic impact on our people throughout the Diaspora.
Consider these related points:
- Half of all Black immigrants in this country come from the Caribbean. Jamaica is the country of origin for 18% of Black immigrants followed by Haiti and Trinidad and Tobago. Immigrants from Africa (primarily Nigeria) are driving much of the recent growth of the Black immigrant population here in the U.S.
- In Jamaica alone, remittances (e.g., monies send from individuals to their home countries) from the U.S. equal approximately $2 billion annually. These financial resources help to supplement household income for necessities such as food, utilities and education in that country where many Black families struggle. The influx of these foreign resources is as important to Jamaica as monies earned through the country’s booming tourism industry.
- The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) indicates that there over 500,000 undocumented Black immigrants in the U.S. and that 1% of all DACA recipients (approximately 800,000) are from Black countries (Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and Nigeria). (https://newsone.com/3745318/daca-black-immigrants-affected-trump-immigration-us/.) While the percentage of Black DACA recipients seems small, we must consider the impact of their potential unemployment and joblessness throughout the Diaspora.
Policies that disadvantage African-descendent immigrants in the U.S. hurt Black people both here and abroad; in essence, our fight is a global fight. Please register today and tune in on Tuesday, November 28 for the co-sponsored webinar: United for All Dreamers: Strategies for Supporting AAPI, Black, and LGBTQ DACA Immigrants. In doing so, keep these thoughts in mind…what happens here affects our people around the world.
Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO, ABFE