A highlight from Immigration Reform Can't Wait with Denea Joseph

What A Day


That would have moved the needle on immigration reform. Since so little has changed in years at the same time as we talked about yesterday over. Fourteen thousand haitian migrants began to arrive at the texas mexico border in recent days in order to seek asylum from the us some of them had fled the country following a devastating earthquake and the recent assassination of the country's president however the us has already begun to clear out where they have taken shelter as of last night the ap reported that more than six thousand haitians and other migrants had been removed. Several hundreds of them at least have been deported back to haiti using a pandemic related policy adopted by the trump administration with officials saying that the size and pace of flights is set to increase. And there's at least one well-documented disturbing instance of border patrol behavior. Aljazeera posted a video yesterday showing border patrol officers on horseback verbally. Abusing some of those migrants women country. Really ugly yeah. You gotta know that if you are using immigration policy that was adopted by the trump administration. You might be on the wrong path. Yeah and at one point in this video. It appears as if an officer swings eddie migrant with what looks like a strap that is connected to the bridal of his horse that's how the washington post put it will link to that video in our show notes and yesterday the white house and the chair of the house homeland. Security committee voiced concern over some of the reports that were emerging and called the circulating pictures quote unquote horrific and they are horrific right. It's a really really kind of shocking thing to see and with so much going on with immigration. We wanted to hear what one activist herself thinks. Dna joseph is an undocumented docker recipient in a national immigrant rights activists. Welcome to what a day. Thank you for having me. So i know that this week has just been. I'm sure very emotional and disappointing in in a lot of different ways. What is your reaction to the news that once again daca protections won't be passed in congress. I would say that. I'm disappointed but not defeated. I'm disappointed by the fact that the senate parliamentarian thought that for the first time in thirty five years that this shouldn't be something that's included in the reconciliation package however i'm not defeated Considering the fact that she actually isn't rule-maker she isn't a legislator right. She is an unelected advisor to the senate meaning that the buck does not stop with her. This is where we need. Bold action from the democratic party like chuck schumer who could actually say you know what. Let's actually replace you or from the president of the senate being vice president calmly harris to say that i'd actually like to overrule that decision. Considering the fact that the vast majority of the american population actually supports a pathway ford of citizenship. For the eleven point five million undocumented people in this country for someone though who has personal experience as well as understanding the impact this has on the country at large. This actually affects you directly. So how has it been for you personally. Well first and foremost it's been hard for me for the past. Twenty years that i've been undocumented right As an undocumented and black woman from belize central america these conversations aren't had nearly enough where we talk about what's happening with immigration who's directly impacted by this issue. And so it's difficult when you hear people say that it's not right now but i've been here not right now for twenty years so it's frustrating It makes you feel defeated at times but at the same time it makes me that much more defiant to want to push harder for us to get something concrete. You're sort of alluding to this but we heard this. time of. The reasoning is based on this parliamentarians decision. As you said but does it feel as though people are constantly passing the buck here absolutely. You're right about that. Where the responsibility and who should be held accountable consistently changes one thing that we saw come out of the trump administration. And i can't even believe that i'm saying one thing. One good thing that came out is the fact that members of the republican party were defined in when they wanted something to get done meaning that they could care less about bipartisanship that they just worked to complete whatever. The priorities of their party was and i think as members of the democratic party. They need to do the absolute same thing. This is something comprehensive immigration reform or at least a pathway ford that would benefit this nation and contribute to the socio economic status of this country. It is positive why not fight for it. Why not be bold about this one thing considering that it's positive and we saw the other party do way more for far worse for this country today and these past few days we've seen this situation with haitian immigrants just the latest in a string of deeply. Tragic deeply callous behavior towards migrants trying to seek refuge in the united states. So when you see those images that are being discussed today in those videos of those officers on horseback holding what looked like whips. How does it make you rethink your own sort of outlook on the current situation in immigration. Or does it not really make you rethink it at all. Today as i was reading and re looking at those images i just could not believe that this is what's happening under this current administration. The idea was that we would see a clear difference in this nation's regard for immigrants than we saw in the previous administration so the fact that the same things are happening is disappointing. And that means that this administration actually needs to step up to do better to hold itself accountable and looking at the ways in which they're disproportionately impacting members of the immigrant community in the same way that they said they wanted the previous administration to stop and we're about eight months into president biden's first term in office in addition to everything else that we have talked about just yesterday. The wall street journal reported that the white house will raise the cap on admissions of refugees to one hundred twenty five thousand a year starting october first biden had pledged to raise that capturing his campaign and he had already once earlier this year. We've kind of addressed this but at this point what is your assessment of how biden has done on immigration overall. I think the will is there but the resistance is lacking in that you should not be so concerned about what the naysayers are saying and doing in order to stop the very progressive and necessary. Work that you're doing. You should be more focused on individuals like myself who are one of eleven point five million undocumented people who are susceptible to detention and deportation on a daily basis. That should be the concern right and so that resistance needs to be there. That's why i love. The work of people like cory bush who is a legislator but she's also an activist she's also an organizer who recognizes just like. Dr king did right That a lot of the work that he was doing was not favourable at that time. But it's not about favorability. People will eventually get the right idea decades later but should we wait for them to catch up or should we be that bowl change that we would like to see the world and i think it's the latter that we should be the bowl change and think less about what the naysayers feel or what. They think we should be doing now. I think something that you're saying is making me a want to acknowledge all the work that immigration activism has contributed and driven. But i also think so much of the conversation right. Immigration is driven in moments crisis and covered in moments of crisis. Right it is the moment. Family separation is the moment of crossing. The border is the caravan right versus a real holistic conversation. About what are the ways in which we can try to rectify and help and also allow these people to help us by entering the country. So why do you think that is that. Immigration is really only covered in the context of crisis. I think something that i've learned in. Communications is about what people consider to be sexy right. What's that sexy issue that people are drawn to and attracted to and unfortunately we live in a time. An era where people tend to thrive off of tragedy and unfortunately in the immigrant rights movement tragedy and trauma is taking place daily whether or not the media is picking it up and talking about it case in point members of the undocumented in black community who have been disproportionately impacted by this nation's immigration system since the nineteen eighty s in fact the us detention system as we know it was built on the backs of haitian people during nineteen seventy four and nineteen eighty where we saw a caribbean crisis take place where people were fleeing and so because of that narrative of what's a sexy issue what is that most pressing at that time and also the fact that we have very short attention spans and because of that what is going on with immigration like i said has been taken place for decades and so when you see the community is disproportionately impacted by issues on a daily basis. The attention is not going to be lent. Meanwhile so many other things are taken place every day in our nation. But i think what we do need to look to is the fact that this actually isn't new and it would be a disservice to every haitian immigrant and people come in from the african continent to say that this border crisis just began it did not haitian immigrants have been fleeing the country since twenty ten since the earthquake and did the stabilization that took place. Then in fact there's members of the haitian community who were sheltering in place in mexico with no form of support if not for the help of the mexican people who are given them food and they were being left on housed on the streets of mexico for at least a decade. So this isn't new. And i think we definitely need to start to look at who we consider to be important because for a long time haitian people who are erased. Black people who are erased in the immigrant rights movement and the narratives around immigration. This has been taken place for a long time which we do not find them important enough to cover our stories. Well thank you so much for taking so much generous time today and giving us so much to think about and consider here today. Joseph is an undocumented docker recipient and national immigrant rights activists. Thank you again. We always appreciate you joining. Thank you so much and

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