Africans Are Immigrants, Too. Did You Know?

Yvette D. Clarke, U.S. Rep

Yvette D. Clarke, U.S. Rep

I was just having this conversation with Igwe the other day about how every time they talk about Immigrants and Immigration, the focus is on the Hispanics/Latinos. Naturally, as an African Immigrant, this bothers me. For example, during every election, everybody wants the Latino votes. What about the African votes? I know people like to bundle us up as African Americans, but it is not that easy. I look at it more as there being Black Americans and then African Americans (us).

As you know, Immigration is currently a hot button issue on the President’s desk, and I, like most Immigrants, want this issue to be resolved quickly. That said, I want you to read the post below. U.S. Rep Yvette D. Clarke is challenging President Obama to include the African Diaspora in the Immigration debate. It was culled from Hello Gambia.

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WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke issued the following statement calling on the Obama Administration and her colleagues in Congress to expand the face of immigration beyond the Latino community, and recognize the African Diaspora that exists in the U.S.

“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.

“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 Representative Yvette D. Clarke.

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U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents several neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which includes Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, Ocean Hill, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

http://clarke.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=318813

Comments

  1. says

    Earlier on this used to bother me, especially living in Texas… it was like water is to H2O as immigrants is to mexicans (or is “hispanic” the word we’ve decided as politically correct?)

    I remember when I recently moved, most foreigners had weird reactions. Like ‘we know you are an immigrant because you have an immigrant, but yet you are NOT an immigrant’ you know?

    And it took me a while to get it… but eventually I realized that when you are in Texas you have to understand how things work in Texas…. immigrant is equivalent to latino. Nigerian with an accent is equivalent to ‘new here’ or ‘visitor’. And Nigerians without accents immediately become akatas (whoops… black americans) lol

    …apparently it’s not a strictly Texan thing

    • says

      Nolly, I totally get you. Maybe it’s because we are black and we look like other black people (although as Africans, cappwe can point ourselves out). But the Latinos and Asians, they look different physically. I don’t know ….

  2. Manny says

    She has said well, especially because African Immigrants have a lot to offer in terms of brain power. Fact is most are more educated than other immigrants

      • Nice says

        Ha haaaaa! Vera yee!
        I cant stop laughing
        U mean the most intelligent in
        STEALING, LYING, CHEATING and all things NEGATIVE?
        U want to challenge this
        go on try.
        Lets not lie to ourselves.
        Remember in comparison to the rest of Africa
        Nigeria is still living in the STONE AGE.
        Go to Mushin, Marina, Ibadan, outskirts of Abuja and see for yourself.
        Now travel to Botswana, Namibia, Brazaville, Kigali, Angola etc
        and see what is known as PROGRESS AND ORGANISATION.
        The notion of calling ourselves the most intelligent comes from
        the fact that we suffer from a false sense of superiority complex which often
        rears its ugly head when we feel left out and ignored.
        We always want to thrive in this bubble that we are the lions of Africa blah,blah. On the same note
        I do not in any way deny nor wish to downplay the existence of commendable men and women
        of Nigeria working in the diaspora that have done great things.
        THE POINT IS THEY ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES.

        • says

          Nice, I don’t at all think that we are better than everyone – or anyone for that matter. And for me, it’s not even about Nigerians, but about Africans as a whole in the Diaspora. You read this blog, so you know I’m usually very critical of Nigeria and Nigerians, but in this issue of Africans in the Diaspora, I believe we are not using the power we have. Or maybe we don’t know the power we have.

  3. don ken says

    We need to first of all take ourselves seriously, show them we are a serious people,then they will come for the votes and include us in talks when they talk about whatever votes they need to win elections…

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