By Dela Ahiawor in Washington DC, USA
Advocates plan to call on President Biden for protection for African immigrants during a week of advocacy from May 22-26 in the U.S. capital, Washington DC.
Given that some African migrants in the U.S. face life- threatening situations when repatriated to their home countries.
Advocates in a press release to DEL REPORT urged the need for the expansion of humanitarian and deportation relief for vulnerable countries like: Mali, Mauritania, the DRC, Nigeria, Sudan and all African countries that meet the statutory grounds for relief.
The week of action (May 22-26) aims to call on the Biden administration to designate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and other form of protection for African immigrants.
Key Activities During the Week of Action Include:
Congressional Briefing. In a closed press event on May 23rd, advocates will brief Congressional Black Caucus members and staff on the conditions on the ground in several African countries and the need for congressional action in support of migrants from those countries.
Digital Day of Action. Advocates will hold a digital day of action on May 23 with stories and messages underscoring the urgency of TPS for African countries. Follow the hashtag #Protection4All and #ImmigrationisaBlackIssue and accounts including @AfricansUS and @wearecusp for more.
Community Roundtable. On May 25 at African Communities Together’s Washington, D.C. office at 1:30pm ET, advocates and leaders will hold a roundtable sharing information with community members and amplify the calls for TPS. This event will lend itself to listen to testimonies and perspectives from impacted leaders, community members, and advocates alike. The address for the event is 700 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, 7th Floor, Washington, DC.
Throughout the Week
Lobby Visits. Advocates will hold various meetings with and visits to Congressional offices.
The week of action will conclude with additional announcements regarding advocacy for African countries.
In letters to the administration, advocates have made a clear case for TPS based on the conditions on the ground and how they align with statutory language behind TPS.
Find attached the letters for Mali, Mauritania, the DRC, Nigeria, and Sudan from the press release:
Over the past year, advocates have successfully secured TPS for Black-majority countries including Cameroon, Somalia, Haiti, Ethiopia, Sudan, and South Sudan. These designations have spared thousands of people from some of the most unspeakable conflicts, humanitarian crises, and climate change-fueled devastation. Even so, we note the measurably disproportionate effort required from advocates and affected communities from Black majority and African countries to receive these necessary protections.
While some African immigrants are protected, too many face intolerable levels of danger. It is crucial for the Biden administration to designate all countries with conditions that make return untenable, including (but not limited to) Mauritania, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Nigeria, and Sudan.
With the increasing divisiveness and scapegoating of immigrants—especially those from African countries—by extreme political actors, and with the Biden administration all but prohibiting asylum, it is of utmost importance that the administration live up to the values it proclaims to have and use the full breadth of its executive power to provide essential humanitarian protections in the form of TPS.