Black Immigrants Continue to be Excluded in the Immigration Process

(ESPAÑOL) Although the Hispanic immigrant community has been the constant focus of the news cycle, Black immigrants are also slowly having their rights eroded.

Black immigrants, which Pew Research estimated had reached a population of 3.8 million by 2013, four times the amount documented in 1980. Black immigration has climbed steadily since the 1960s, thanks in part to the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that also created a new category for political refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

Prior to that, the flow of immigration was based on the country of origin, the result of the Emergency Quota Act of 1921 that essentially gave preference to European nations. This legislative loophole allowed up to 51,227 Germans to enter the U.S. after its passage, while African countries were limited to just 1,100, a biased quota system that President John F. Kennedy once described as “intolerable.”

The 1965 act would help shift America’s demographics, as more immigrants from African and Caribbean nations started migrating to the United States.

Center for American Progress breaks the demographic down as “The largest individual home countries of black immigrants in the United States today are Jamaica (693,000), Haiti (654,000), Nigeria (304,000), Ethiopia (237,000), and Trinidad and Tobago (171,000).”

But with the Muslim ban now the official law of the land, those fleeing persecution or militant attacks in countries like Somalia are now unable to enter the country legally. As the New York Times recently remarked, “There is no escape to America.”

Black emigrants from Somalia and Libya — the only African nations among the list of seven countries on the recent Supreme Court–approved travel ban list  — now find the door to U.S. entry barred to them, but many foreign-born Blacks already in the United States face the threat of deportation because of a separate immigration directive by the Trump administration.