On February 27 on Capitol Hill in Washington, Black leaders and activists demanded passage of the Dream Act as well as a permanent solution for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) holders.
The number of TPS and DED holders includes around 70,000 Black immigrants from Haiti, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan and Somalia. The activists also focused on protecting the Diversity Visa Program.
Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Tamika D. Mallory, Co-President of The Women’s March and Melanie Campbell, President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation were joined by advocates and members of the UndocuBlack Network and other Black Civil Rights leaders focused on immigration policy.
The group of activists demonstrated to put attention on the Dream Act that protects undocumented young people, including approximately 60,000 Blacks, and permanent protection for the Diversity Visa Program that allots 50,000 visas to immigrants from countries with historically low immigration rates — 40% of which have been African nations.
Campbell, who is President of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, was arrested in front of Speaker Paul Ryan’s office, along with Jonathan Jayes-Green of UndocuBlack, Mallory, Foy, and Rev. Jamal Bryant.
“It is inhumane to treat undocumented immigrants, who are a core part of what makes this country great, in such a cruel way, by tearing families apart through massive deportation; and not making DACA permanent and passing comprehensive immigration reform that is fair for all law-abiding immigrants a priority by leaders in Congress as well as the Trump Administration,” Campbell said in a statement after her arrest.