Congresswoman Clarke Wants African Diaspora in Immigration Debate

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Yvette Clarke wants African diaspora in immigration debateNoting the diversity of the USA population and the contribution of Blacks to the economic equation of their respective communities, at least one US lawmaker wants more inclusivity in the push for immigration reform.

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke of Brooklyn, NY, this week called on the Obama Administration and her colleagues in Congress to expand the face of immigration beyond the Latino (Spanish speaking) community, and to recognize the African Diaspora that exists in the U.S.

The call was made on Monday, February 4, during a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) on the House floor, for a Special Order on Immigration Reform.

“We must embrace the diversity of those who are impacted by reform and understand that this debate cannot solely rest on the shoulders of our Latino brothers and sisters. Our nation’s fixation on Latinos as the target immigrant group has resulted in a skewed depiction of the diversity of our immigrant population,” stated Representative Yvette D. Clarke.

There are approximately three million immigrants from the African Diaspora in the U.S., many of whom entered the country with legal documentation as students or asylum seekers. Additionally, there are approximately four-hundred thousand undocumented or ‘out of status’ immigrants who are negatively affected by our broken system.

“African immigrants, like so many other groups from around the world, are dealing with backlogged immigration processing; ageing out of the legal immigration system and falling ‘out of status’; racial and status discrimination; aggregated felony laws sans judicial review; deportation; an insecure student visa program and much, much more.”

Contexted against the background of February being observed as Black History Month, Congresswoman Clarke, a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics and Homeland Security, warned that this sub-set of the population is most deserving of support from the administration.

“If we turn our backs on those law-abiding contributors to our civil society that come to our shores embracing the American Dream, labor in rebuilding our great nation, strengthen our economy, and serve honorably in our military, we turn our back on ourselves. It is time for people of good will to stand for those who fear or are unable to stand for themselves,” concluded Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke.