As someone with Afro-Latinx heritage, it was important to me to participate in the Solidarity with DACA Holders March and Vigil, which was hosted by the Richmond Peace Education Center and Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.
Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that DACA, will be repealed. DACA is an Obama-era program which permits young people who were brought to the United States by their parents to remain in the United States and make meaningful contributions to our country. In response to this, activists, organizers and community members in Richmond gathered at Abner Clay Park with signs expressing our support for our friends, neighbors and family who are undocumented immigrants.
Oftentimes, Afro-Latinx and other undocumented immigrants of African descent are excluded from the conversation of defending our Dreamers. It’s already hard enough to be Black in America, but Black undocumented immigrants in America have to face intersections of xenophobia and anti-black racism.
Terminating DACA will disrupt over 800K lives. According to the New York Times, 25% of those lives are of African descent. The Black Alliance for Just Immigration, states that there are more than 575,000 undocumented Black immigrants in America which many are not beneficiaries of DACA do not benefit from programs such as DACA.
Nigerian-American organizer and advocate Opal Tometi’s, work surrounds highlighting the intersectional challenges Black undocumented immigrants face. She serves as the executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
“By canceling the program President Trump is yet again pandering to white supremacists over immigrant, Black, and poor communities, as well as millions of organizations, businesses, and allies that support DACA recipients,” said the co-founder of Black Lives Matter.
Beneficiaries of DACA will be impacted by this repeal starting March 5, 2018. Congress has six months to protect DACA beneficiaries. I encourage anyone who is reading this to contact your representatives, and senators to vote on the DREAM Act which would give DACA recipients, especially Dreamers of African descent pathway to citizenship.