By Camryn Allen, Intern at AFRICOM
After Federal Judge Hanen’s ruling rejecting new DACA applications and denying the legality of the DACA program, the threat of exacerbated disparity, vulnerability, and fear has become the new reality for the undocumented immigrants in the United States. There are 11 million undocumented Americans who are at risk of further exploitation, exclusion, and insecurity as a result of the U.S. government refusing to provide a pathway to citizenship for all undocumented immigrants—Congress’ proposal to include only 5 million undocumented Americans is unacceptable. Immigrants and refugees have waited generations to become fully recognized in this country, but our discriminatory immigration system makes that virtually impossible.
On July 23rd, the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition (PICC), the Coalition of African Communities, Fair Immigration Reform Movement, New Sanctuary Movement, Make the Road Pennsylvania, Immigrant Rights Action, and WOORI Center organized a protest at the AMTRAK Station at 30th and Market Street, in Philadelphia. The rally aimed to ask the US Congress to include a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the federal budget. Dr. Eric Edi, C.O.O of AFRICOM, declared the Coalition’s support because of the exhaustive list of African and Caribbean immigrants’ contributions to the U.S. and because it is first “a matter of human rights.” AFRICOM echoed immigrant and refugee communities’ calls challenging Congress to “end the lip service” and prove to the world that the U.S. is actually “the land of the free,” and a “global leader.”
Dr. Edi summarizes the July 23rd protest saying that “all 11 million undocumented Americans need and deserve to actively participate and reap the opportunities of American citizenship, rights, and freedoms without being subject to fear, exclusion, or exploitation.” To read AFRICOM’s full statement demanding a pathway to citizenship, go to africomphilly.org.