Society Magazine

We Have To Pay Attention To The Deportation Of Black Undocumented Immigrants

Posted on the 19 April 2017 by Juliez
Deportation cropped 72 dpi

Many Black undocumented immigrants’ deportations have gone quietly unnoticed.

Trump’s recent attacks on undocumented immigrants have ripped apart families, mistakenly detained immigrants protected under DACA, and incited fear among immigrant communities here in America. Trump’s rhetoric about “bad hombres” and Mexico sending the worst of its people to America has created an archetype of an undocumented immigrant: We most often hear stories in the media about the targeting and unfair deportation of undocumented immigrants from Mexican and other Central American countries. But Mexican and other Central American immigrants are not the only group under siege. In particular, there are also Black undocumented immigrants whose deportations have gone quietly unnoticed.

To be Black in America is to be in a state of hypervisibility; your actions and/or behavior are stigmatized by myths and misconceptions about what it means to be Black. Especially in light of recent, growing awareness of police shootings and police brutality, Black people already have a target on their back. Being undocumented only makes this targeting worse. Indeed, the Trump administration deported 130 people to Senegal last month, and the deportation of African/Black immigrants has increased dramatically since 2016. In 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deported 1,203 African immigrants. The image of the Latino immigrant not only erases awareness and understanding of the African/Black immigrant experience, but does a more immediate disservice to the hundreds of Black undocumented immigrants being targeted.

“Black immigrants are subject to the same racialized criminal justice system Black Americans are—but Black immigrants face an additional consequence: removal from the U.S. It’s called ‘crimmigration’” writes Breanne Palmer, for CollectivelyUnbossed. Palmer makes a good point: Black undocumented immigrants aren’t afforded the same kind of anonymity that Irish undocumented immigrants or any other white/white-passing immigrant are. As Palmer goes on to explain, being Black and undocumented in America doesn’t matter to a police officer because the first thing they see is a Black person, who is already criminalized by default. All that matters is that there is a Black body in custody. Things really begin to hit the fan once police realize the Black person they targeted doesn’t have any papers.

Emphasizing the experiences of Mexican and Central American immigrants can not only have a crippling effect on the visibility of Black immigrants’ strife in America, but it can also hinder other groups that lie in the intersection of Black and Latinx communities. For example, Afro-Latinx people can fall within any of these groups, and their experiences as undocumented people do not fit into a single category or experience of being undocumented. Dan-el Padilla Peralta highlights this experience in his book about coming of age as an undocumented immigrant in New York, Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League. After an incident where the police wrongly searched his apartment, the first thing that came to Dan-el’s mind when his mom told him the news was whether or not the police had inquired into their immigration status. And as a dark-skinned Dominican, there was no set box Dan-el could fit in while growing up in New York City. All of his identities—Black, Latinx, undocumented—intermingled and clashed on a daily basis.

The struggles of all undocumented immigrants unfairly targeted by the Trump administration are all worth telling, whether or not the storyteller is Mexican. That’s not to say we should pay less attention to the stories of undocumented Mexican immigrants, just that we should consider those of Black undocumented immigrants as well. Considering the hatred and vitriol Trump has encouraged in this country, it’s important, if not essential, that we do.


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Dying Games – Steve Robinson

    Dying Games Steve Robinson

    Crime Fiction5*s The genealogical expert Jefferson Tayte is back! I love this series which has taken me back to historical eras I know little about while tellin... Read more

    11 hours, 58 minutes ago by   Cleopatralovesbooks
    BOOKS, CULTURE
  • Crushed a Flower with a Footstep

    (Photograph by Abhay Tiwari) Please, talk to me about who you were before the walls were painted blue; Tell me the bruises, the aches, and time just added... Read more

    13 hours, 6 minutes ago by   Shantam Sahai
    DIARIES, SELF EXPRESSION
  • Make My Day . . .

    Make

    Read more

    13 hours, 21 minutes ago by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Lifestyle: Productive Procrastination

    Lifestyle: Productive Procrastination

    I’ve moaned about it enough, so you’ll all know by know that despite having graduated last summer I’m still studying. I’ve chosen a career path which pretty muc... Read more

    14 hours, 21 minutes ago by   Ninegrandstudent
    FASHION, FOOD & DRINK, LIFESTYLE
  • Why I’m Not At the MidAmerica Region Annual Assembly

    I love Chicago. I have family there that I'm normally always looking for a way to be with. And I have friends that I don't see nearly enough. So when I first... Read more

    15 hours, 35 minutes ago by   Eastofmidnight
    POLITICS, SOCIETY
  • Lemon Stuffed French Toast

    Lemon Stuffed French Toast

    Whenever I have stale bread I want to make one of two things . . . either I want to make a bread pudding, or I want to make French Toast. Today the French... Read more

    16 hours, 21 minutes ago by   Mariealicerayner
    FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES
  • Safety First And Workout Related Injuries Last

    Safety First Workout Related Injuries Last

    (Image Credit) Like most things in life, exercise can be a dangerous game. It’s very easy to injure yourself while you’re exercising; if you fail to take the... Read more

    20 hours, 18 minutes ago by   Peppertan
    FAMILY, HOME