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Black solidarity with the struggle of Central American immigrants and refugees

By Michael Sampson |
November 2, 2018
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Jacksonville, FL - There are around 8000 Central American immigrants and refugees making their way from Honduras and other Central American nations to the United States-Mexico border. Currently the caravan is over 1000 miles from the nearest border city. These are Central American immigrants and refugees escaping poverty and instability in their home countries due to U.S.-backed governmental regimes and violence fueled by U.S. interference. These immigrants and refugees have pleaded for humanitarian assistance and a better life. However, they have been met by Donald Trump and his racist presidential administration with disdain and hate. Trump has called the caravan a mix of “criminals and unknown Middle Easterners,” claims pulled from his own administration’s bigotry towards Central Americans and other immigrants. His administration has even sent thousands of troops to fortify the border.

For African Americans in the United States, we can recall the Great Migration after the betrayal of Radical Reconstruction in which hundreds of thousands of African Americans made their way across the country to escape racist violence and national oppression in the Black Belt South. African Americans made their way from the Black Belt to cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and other northern towns in a search for greater economic opportunities, away from the white supremacist violence and other forms of national oppression they dealt with in the Black Belt.

It is important for Black people here to show solidarity with the Central American caravan and support caravan members’ demands and rights for a better life. Often, the struggle of refugees and the immigrants has been met by narrow nationalist forces here in the U.S. with much chagrin and resistance. These are African Americans who make the claim that the struggles of immigrants don’t affect Black people, therefore we have no stake in their struggle. But these forces show their own ignorance of the broader struggle for self-determination and immigration rights by even denying the national oppression and draconian U.S. immigration policies that Black immigrants face here in the United States.

Let’s not forget that it was reported that Donald Trump called places like Haiti and African nations “shithole” countries. As well, the Trump administration has been especially vicious in breaking up Haitian-American households as well as other African immigrants here with threats of deportation. Just earlier this month, a U.S District Judge granted a preliminary injunction stopping the Trump administration and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from terminating the Temporary Protected Status (TPS), which affects immigrants from Haiti, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Sudan. This specific ruling affects over 300,000 immigrants, including Black immigrants, who under the TPS have been allowed to live and work legally in the United States for decades after war and/or major natural disasters in their home countries.

It is paramount for the Black liberation movement in the United States to support the struggle of immigrants of all oppressed nationalities. The greater our unity, the more strength we have against the same white supremacy and imperialist forces that deport and terrorize immigrant families while murdering and imprisoning Black people.

It was civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who famously said, ““Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

African American Solidarity with Immigrants and Refugees!

Legalization for All and an End to Militarization of the Border!

Michael Sampson is an African American organizer who works against police crimes, and for African American self-determination in Jacksonville, Florida with the Jacksonville Community Action Committee.

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