Our collective well-being depends on all of us being healthy and safe, not criminalized and dehumanized. At the Protecting Immigrant Families (PIF) Campaign, we stand against the systemic racism and structures of oppression that have pervaded this country for over 400 years.
As groups that work at the intersection of immigrant justice, health, and public benefits, it is imperative that we respond to white supremacy and racial injustice. We recognize that for far too long, racism has played a key role in limiting access to basic needs programs, in shaping their design, and fueling the stigma against them. For example, in the aftermath of the 1996 Welfare Reform Acts, cuts to public benefits had lasting and devastating repercussions on Black people, including Black immigrants. Moving forward, we are committed to growing strong sustainable partnerships with leaders within Black communities to build a country where true racial and economic justice exists. Dismantling white supremacy and fighting anti-Blackness, including within the immigrant justice movement, takes all of us. It requires us to give up space and power and center the voices and leadership of Black immigrants, which are often missing from or marginalized within the national conversation on immigration.
The systemic and structural racism inherent in the U.S. criminal enforcement system extends to the immigration enforcement system – Black people are much more likely to be arrested, convicted and imprisoned than other populations, and Black immigrants are much more likely than other immigrants to be detained and deported due to a criminal conviction. Black immigrants face compounded barriers due to systemic and structural racism in the health and public benefits systems, as well. Black people have the highest mortality rate of all populations in the U.S., and along with Latinx, Native Hawaiians, Other Pacific Islanders and Alaskan Natives are more likely than white people to be uninsured.
Like all Black people in America, Black immigrants face employment discrimination. This means that, Black immigrant women and men also earn considerably lower wages than U.S.-born non-Hispanic white women and men. This makes it more likely that they or their families would benefit from programs that support work by helping them access health care, nutritious food, and stable housing. Considering this, we commit to learning as a campaign, centering Black voices, and reflecting on our work through an intersectional lens. Click here to access resources from Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) to support anti-racist practices for immigrant advocacy and information on the experiences of Black Immigrants.