BLACK IMMIGRANT RIGHTS GROUP EXPRESSES CONCERN ABOUT POTUS IMMIGRATION REFORM PLAN
[Oakland, CA – January 29, 2013] As President Obama issues his plan on immigration the Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) , Gerald Lenoir issues the following statement:
The President’s Immigration Reform proposal unveiled today contained no surprises. President Obama proposed a broad legalization program with few details. It is very positive the he includes agricultural workers in the legalization program, but it is disappointing that he made no mention of providing permanent legal status to the thousand of immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status and Deferred Enforced Departure Status. It is also a concern that the president wants undocumented immigrants who qualify to “go to the back of the line”, which means that the legalization process will take years and years. And those deemed to be “criminals” will be left out altogether.
The President also promised to continue down the path of more militarization of the border that has caused a record number of deaths in the desert and more detentions and deportations that have split families apart and caused great hardships. This is unacceptable.
The President’s proposal fails to address the root causes of migrants, like the North America Free Trade Agreement, which has allowed U.S. corporate farmers to dump low cost corn and other agricultural products into the Mexican economy, forcing millions of Mexican farmers who cannot compete to leave their farm and migrate to the United States.
The Black Alliance for Just Immigration and its partner organizations in the Black Immigration Network and the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights will fight for a fairer and more just immigration policy that prioritizes human rights above discriminatory enforcement policies and that places the highest premium on family reunification and a much broader legalization program.