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Human rights groups mark release of new United Nations report on racial discrimination in U.S. immigration system

NEW YORK, AUGUST 30, 2022 – The Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), and Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights today marked the release of a report from the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), analyzing racial discrimination in the United States. The report, informed by evidence the organizations presented at the recent CERD summit in Geneva, includes formal policy recommendations for the U.S. government to address anti-Black discrimination in immigration enforcement.

“I am grateful that the Committee heard our coalitions’ appeals and addressed the ways in which the United States is not living up to its duties to non-citizens, migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers under the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination, particularly those of African descent such as Cameroonians and Haitians,” said Guerline Jozef, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Haitian Bridge Alliance. “These Concluding Observations empower all people working to end racial discrimination in the United States. We encourage all members of civil society to use these recommendations to hold accountable public officials on all levels of government to their duty to end racial discrimination against non-citizens and targeted groups. Whether it be the racist rhetoric of invasion and replacement that infects our discourse and politics, racially discriminatory mandatory detentions, or the discriminatory expulsions under Title 42 such as those violently perpetrated against Haitians in Del Rio in September 2021, the racism must stop.”

The new report identifies systemic patterns of discrimination in immigration policy. It calls for the United States to end mandatory detention of non-citizens, to investigate excessive force and killings by immigration officers, and to begin collecting comprehensive data to better track – and ultimately eliminate – anti-Black discrimination in immigration enforcement. The report also calls for a swift end to Title 42, a policy that expels non-citizens at the border without offering the opportunity to seek asylum.

“CERD’s report is welcome, as it echoes what we have been saying for a long time,” said Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “This committee paying witness is significant in our continued fight to call out the U.S. on its racism. CERD’s recommendations cannot just be read and shelved. The U.S. must make the effort to address anti-Black policy. We will continue to push the Biden administration to end Title 42 and to stop advancing racist carceral and migration policies.”

“Our hope is that these observations move the needle on U.S. legal culture towards greater awareness of and participation in international law,” said Anthony Enriquez, Vice President of U.S. Advocacy and Litigation at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights. “Human rights violations don’t just happen in silence – the world is looking on. But our work isn’t over with the release of a report. Now we must continue to use our platforms as civil society members to call out racism in our immigration system and to fight for its eradication.”

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About Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights:

Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that has worked to realize Robert F. Kennedy’s dream of a more just and peaceful world since 1968. In partnership with local activists, we advocate for key human rights issues— championing change makers and pursuing strategic litigation at home and around the world. And to ensure change that lasts, we foster a social-good approach to business and investment and educate millions of students about human rights and social justice. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook: @RFKHumanRights

About Haitian Bridge Alliance:

Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA), also known as “the Bridge,” is a grassroots community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides migrants and immigrants with humanitarian, legal, and social services, with a particular focus on Black migrants, the Haitian community, women and girls, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. HBA also seeks to elevate the issues unique to Black migrants and build solidarity and collective movement toward policy change. Anpil men, chay pa lou (“Many hands make the load light”). Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook: @haitianbridge

About Black Alliance for Just Immigration:

Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is a US-based national organization that fights for the rights of African American and Black migrants through organizing, legal advocacy, research, policy, and narrative building to improve the conditions of Black communities by advancing racial justice and migrant rights. Follow us on social media: @instabaji @bajitweet