Ebrima Sillah interviews GERALD LENOIR, executive director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.
BAJI brings communities together to support the resistance that U.S. immigrants themselves are organising. Credit: BAJI
DAKAR, Feb 9 (TerraViva) – The Black Alliance for Just Immigration works to link migrants from all over the world with African-American communities in the United States in order to fight for socio-economic justice.
Far from seeing migrants as potential rivals for jobs as a recession bites deeply into the U.S. workforce, Lenoir says it is in African-Americans interest to support fair and just immigration reform.
Q. WhatÂ are the problems of immigration when it comes to Africans in the United States?
A. I think the problem with immigration comes about due to quotas that make it very difficult for people to migrate into the United States.
The United States along with the European powers is distorting their economies within Africa, in fact invading those economies and forcing the flow of migration and also supporting undemocratic regimes that are also forcing the flow of migration because of the lack of rights within the countries of Africa.
So we think that the United States and the West play a very destructive role in terms of the social fabric and the economy of African countries.
Q: What are some of the problems that migrants face after getting to the United States?
A. Racism is very rampant in the United States.Â Even though we fought the civil rights struggle, the black power movements of the sixties and seventies, and opened up a democratic space in the United States.
What we’re seeing is that white supremacist groupings are now forming around the issue of immigration and are promoting racial profiling of Latinos and Africans and Afro-Caribbeans and Afro-Latinos and are trying to roll back the rights of people of colour all over the United States.
African immigrants are being caught up in the raids Â and the deportations, there are massive raids and deportations going on particularly African immigrants from West African countries are being deported, denied jobs. Patients are being deported…
So we are resisting that and trying to concientise our African-American community to support Â the resistance that immigrants themselves are organising. We are trying to bring together our communities together because African-Americans are also impacted by the rise of racism in the United States.