Undocumented African immigrants in the United States are disproportionately caught in the deportation dragnet because of the same racial bias that has led to the warehousing of African-American, according to a new report.
African migrants tend to build their communities near long-established African-American neighborhoods. That makes them targets for racial profiling by over-zealous cops who disproportionately arrest Black people for minor offenses or unconstitutionally stop them for searches, Popula found.
“People are worried. They’re afraid of going out and socializing because they know they can be arrested at any moment and taken away. There’s a great deal of fear in the community,” Henrietta White-Holder, an African immigrants advocate, told the news outlet.
Selling marijuana, for example, is classified as an aggravated felony for immigrants and can automatically trigger deportation proceedings. Once that’s started, due process often goes out the window. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents are laser-focused on deporting them. It often doesn’t matter that immigrants have a legitimate claim to legal status.
“They’re rounding up anyone who seems like they might not be American,” immigration lawyer Perry McAninch commented.
Sub-Sahara African migrants have seen the highest spike in deportations during the first nine months of the Trump presidency—more than doubling from 909 to 2,184, according to the report. While Blacks represent only 7 percent of noncitizens living in the United States, they account for more than 20 percent of those facing deportation for alleged criminal offenses.
This accelerated push to get African immigrants out the country should come as no surprise, considering who’s in the White House.
President Trump declared, in his infamous “shithole countries” remark, that he finds African and Haitian migrants undesirable, preferring instead immigrants from places like Norway.
Just two months after his insulting comments surfaced in March, Trump announced plans to end the special immigrant status that has allowed thousands of Liberians to live and work legally in the United States since the 1990s.