Non-profit

UndocuBlack Network

Website:

undocublack.org

Location:

MD

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Project of:

The Praxis Project

Formation:

2016

Type:

Left-wing Immigration Advocacy

Executive Director:

Jonathan Jayes-Green

UndocuBlack Network is a left-wing advocacy group for illegal immigrants, primarily those who are black. UndocuBlack lobbies for repealing border security and immigration regulation policies, while also calling for more lenient criminal justice policies. These include ending life sentences without parole, ending mandatory minimum sentences, decriminalizing illegal border crossings, and ending capital punishment. [1]

UndocuBlack Network partners with radical left-wing groups on immigration policy like Black and Pink, which advocates for abolishing incarceration and criminal courts. UndocuBlack has also advocated for the unconditional release of legally detained migrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody. [2] [3]

Background

Launched in 2016, UndocuBlack Network is a child organization of The Praxis Project, a left-wing advocacy group for many issues including immigration, abortion, and environmentalism. [4]

On January 15, 2016, UndocuBlack Network hosted its inaugural event in Miami, Florida called “The Undocumented and Black Convening,” which only black illegal immigrants could attend. According to executive director Jonathan Jayes-Green, the event was organized to “blackify” the narratives of illegal immigrants who are black. [5]

Advocacy

Since its inception, UndocuBlack has advocated for federal legislation and executive action that revises or removes existing provisions for immigration enforcement and normal criminal justice procedures in several major proposals.

Criminal Justice

In November 2019, UndocuBlack Network was named by left-wing U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) as having helped draw up her radical criminal justice reform bill. The bill proposes to repeal Federal laws prohibiting unauthorized border crossings, as well as the detention and deportation for those who violate such laws, among other major changes to make criminal justice more lenient. [6] [7]

Deferred Enforced Departure Program

On March 8, 2019, UndocuBlack filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration for announcing the expiration of the Deferred Enforced Departure program (DED). The administration noted the decision was made considering improved conditions in Liberia. [8] On March 28, 2019, President Trump issued an executive order extending the deadline to March 30, 2020. [9] On December 17, 2019, President Trump signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included a provision to allow 4,000 Liberians living in the United States to apply for permanent residency. UndocuBlack Network celebrated President Trump’s second executive order and the NDAA provision; despite this, UndocuBlack and African Communities Together chose to move forward with the lawsuit. [10] [11] [12] [13]

21 Savage

In February 2019, UndocuBlack Network rallied for the release of British-born rapper She’yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph (known by the stage name “21 Savage”), who was taken into custody for having overstayed his authorization to remain in the United States. UndocuBlack Network created a petition with Black Lives Matter and several other groups which gathered about 500,000 signatures for his release from Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody. [14] [15]

As of February 2020, Abraham-Joseph was out on bail awaiting an immigration hearing. [16]

Public Charge Rule

In December 2018, UndocuBlack Network expressed opposition to the Trump administration’s proposed “public charge” rule under the Department of Homeland Security, which would ensure public assistance programs for Americans are not used for non-citizens. UndocuBlack Network claimed the rule was commensurate with “America’s racist history.” [17] [18]

H.R. 1994 and S. 874

In 2018, Lawrence reportedly said that through the consideration of H.R. 1994 and S. 874, the U.S. Senate was pitting beneficiaries of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and Deferred Enforcement Departure (DED) against illegal immigrants. UndocuBlack Network criticized the bills for having “harmful provisions” and emphasized a desire to protect illegal immigrants from Immigration and Customs Enforcement. [19] [20]

Staff Statements

Jonathan Jayes-Green

Co-founder Jonathan Jayes-Green stated that UndocuBlack Network’s mission in immigration combats white supremacy. [21]

Patrice S. Lawrence

UndocuBlack Network’s policy and advocacy coordinator Patrice S. Lawrence accused the Trump administration of imposing travel restrictions on the grounds of racism and xenophobia during the implementation of several executive orders and other executive action. Lawrence also stated, “this country [the United States of America] has a real problem with blackness and proximity to it.” [22]

Denea Joseph

UndocuBlack Network communications coordinator Denea Joseph was invited to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in January 2018 by Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA). Joseph is an illegal immigrant who obtained temporary relief from deportation under the Obama administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. [23]

Deborah Alemu

UndocuBlack Network Staffer Deborah Alemu stated in June 2019 that churches’ “proximity to whiteness” kept ICE from investigating individuals in the congregations. [24]

References

  1. Goldenberg, Ashley Rae. “ACLU and Prison Abolition Group Support Rep. Pressley’s Criminal Justice Bill.” Capital Research Center. December 17, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/aclu-and-prison-abolition-group-support-rep-pressleys-criminal-justice-bill/ ^
  2. Goldenberg, Ashley Rae. “ACLU and Prison Abolition Group Support Rep. Pressley’s Criminal Justice Bill.” Capital Research Center. December 17, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/aclu-and-prison-abolition-group-support-rep-pressleys-criminal-justice-bill/ ^
  3. Navas, Francisco. “21 Savage’s celebrity helped free him from Ice’s grip. Others aren’t so lucky.” The Guardian. February 21, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/feb/21/21-savage-immigration-case-celebrity-status ^
  4. “Social Determinants of Health Equity.” The Praxis Project. 2020. Accessed February 29, 2020. https://www.thepraxisproject.org/social-determinants-of-health-equity ^
  5. “The undocumented and Black Convening.” Eventbrite. January 15, 2016. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-undocumented-and-black-convening-tickets-19159607903# ^
  6. Goldenberg, Ashley Rae. “ACLU and Prison Abolition Group Support Rep. Pressley’s Criminal Justice Bill.” Capital Research Center. December 17, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/article/aclu-and-prison-abolition-group-support-rep-pressleys-criminal-justice-bill/ ^
  7. “H. Res. 702 – 116th Congress (2019-2020): Recognizing that the United States has a moral obligation to meet its foundational promise of guaranteed justice for all.” Congress.gov, November 14, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.congress.gov/116/bills/hres702/BILLS-116hres702ih.pdf ^
  8. “Case 1:19-cv-10432.” United States District Court for the Court of Massachusetts. March 8, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.mad.207392/gov.uscourts.mad.207392.1.0.pdf ^
  9. “Memorandum on Extension of Deferred Enforcement Departure of Liberians.” The White House. March 28, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/memorandum-extension-deferred-enforced-departure-liberians/ ^
  10. Nwoye, Chidinma Irene. “A surprise provision in a Trump defense bill has granted a path to citizenship for 4,000 Liberians.” Quartz Africa. January 3, 2020. Accessed Febraury 28, 2020. https://qz.com/africa/1779248/trump-defense-bill-grants-path-to-citizenship-for-4000-liberians/ ^
  11. “Liberians Rejoice Over A Promised Path To U.S. Citizenship.” The Chronicle. January 7, 2020. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.charlestonchronicle.net/2020/01/07/liberians-rejoice-over-a-promised-path-to-u-s-citizenship/ ^
  12. Salem, Ola & Gottbrath, Laurin-Whitney. “Liberians welcome US DED extension, call for permanent solution. Al Jazeera. March 28, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/03/liberians-ded-extension-call-permanent-solution-190327193517135.html ^
  13. “US citizenship path for many Liberians tucked into spending bill.” Al Jazeera. December 18, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/12/citizenship-path-liberians-tucked-spending-bill-191218221355347.html ^
  14. Navas, Francisco. “21 Savage’s celebrity helped free him from Ice’s grip. Others aren’t so lucky.” The Guardian. February 21, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2019/feb/21/21-savage-immigration-case-celebrity-status ^
  15. Horowitz, Jake. “Post Malone, Kendrick Lamar, SZA& more call for 21 Savage release in #21 Ways video.” Mic. February 12, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.mic.com/articles/192797/post-malone-kendrick-lamar-sza-call-for-21-savage-release-in-21ways-video-campaign ^
  16. Hogan, Marc. “One Year After His Arrest by ICE, 21 Savage’s Immigration Case Is Far From Over.” Pitchfork. Pitchfork, February 3, 2020. https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/one-year-after-his-arrest-by-ice-21-savages-immigration-case-is-far-from-over/. ^
  17. Herrera, Jack. “As the Public Comment Period Ends, Advocacy Groups Mount One Last Push Against Trump’s ‘Public Charge’ Rule.” Pacific Standard. December 10, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://psmag.com/news/as-the-public-comment-period-ends-advocacy-groups-mount-one-last-push-against-trumps-public-charge-rule ^
  18. Wright, Bruce C.T. “’Public Charge’: Effect On Black People Is Overlooked In Trump’s Latest Effort to Punish Immigrants.” Newsone. January 27, 2020. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://newsone.com/3839881/black-immigrants-public-charge-immigration-rule/ ^
  19. Grasso, Samantha. “What It’s like to Live in the Immigration Limbo of Trump’s America.” Splinter. March 29, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://splinternews.com/what-its-like-to-live-in-the-immigration-limbo-of-trump-1833430846 ^
  20. “As Senate Reintroduces Bills: Dream Act and Secure Act; UndocuBlack Says, Protect Dream Eligible, TPS and DED Immigrants without Political Games.” UndocuBlack Network. March 26, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://undocublack.org/press-releases/2019/3/26/protect-dream-eligible-tps-and-ded-immigrants ^
  21. Rodriguez-Cayro, Kyli. “5 Undocumented Activists On How To Fight For Immigrants’ Rights.” Bustle. September 14, 2017. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://www.bustle.com/p/5-undocumented-activists-on-how-to-fight-for-immigrants-rights-2353589 ^
  22. Martelli, Sylvia. “Trump’s Travel Ban is Islamophobic, Xenophobic Policy, Civil Rights Groups Say.” Sojourners. February 3, 2020. https://sojo.net/articles/trumps-travel-ban-islamophobic-xenophobic-policy-civil-rights-groups-say ^
  23. Jennewein, Chris. “Sen. Harris to Bring LA ‘Dreamer’ to Trump’s State of the Union Address.” Times of San Diego. January 26, 2018. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://timesofsandiego.com/politics/2018/01/26/sen-harris-bring-la-dreamer-trumps-state-union-address/ ^
  24. Vasquez, Tina. “What Is Sanctuary’ for a Black Immigrant Family in the US?” Rewire News. June 10, 2019. Accessed February 28, 2020. https://rewire.news/article/2019/06/10/what-is-sanctuary-for-a-black-immigrant-family-in-the-us/ ^
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