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International Migrants Day: A Day to Stand in Solidarity with Migrants in the United States and Across the World Who Face Racism and Economic Exploitation
WASHINGTON - December 18 - December 18th is International Migrants Day as observed by the United Nations. In United States, while many organizations observe this day, much work is needed to address many of the issues, struggles and attacks that many migrants, their families and their communities face.
While it is factual that migration has been an important factor in the development of the United States since its inception, it is unfortunate that the rights of groups of migrants, especially migrants of color, have not yet been addressed, recognized nor respected. From the Chinese guest workers who built the U.S. railroad system and the Braceros, Mexican guest farm workers from 1942 to 1964, who worked under unjust and slave-like conditions, to the present day farm workers, nannies and hotel workers, many of whom continue to endure slave like conditions, exploitative hours, racist attitudes, and precarious conditions, the struggle for justice continues.
Added to this is the fact that many migrants in the United States represent people of African descent that have endured multiple forced and economic migrations throughout the centuries. They have also had to continuously deal with being rendered invisible not only in countries like the United States that have racialized policies and legislation, but even among many migrant brothers and sisters, who experience similar realities of exploitation, but are nevertheless victims of a socialization process that has historically denigrated African descendants across the globe. ‘In order for us to really deal with the complexities of migration, we must take a close look at race and racism and the role that it plays within global migration, and then at the role that it plays in our own migrant communities, we will then see how invisible the struggles and plights of certain groups become', says Janvieve Williams Comrie of the Latin American and Caribbean Community Center.
A main example continues to be the plight of our Haitian brothers and sisters in the United States, where the non granting of Temporary Protective Status (TPS) by the Obama administration is wrong and immoral. Haitians in the US need "Temporary Protected Status" as a concrete form of assistance in the wake of the four major hurricanes that have devastated the country since September 2008. This status has been provided and renewed at different times to nationals of other countries facing similar and in some cases less severe circumstances. Before these natural disasters, policies imposed from abroad caused and continues to impact Haiti to suffer through a terribly severe food crisis that made headlines around the world and has since worsened. Another concrete example is the number of Jamaican men and women that face unjust trials and convictions that end up on the deportation of long-term residents for increasingly minor crimes, even when they are green card holders, U.S. veterans, or the parents of American-born children.
The Latin American and Caribbean Community Center (LACCC) stand in solidarity with all migrants in the United States and across the world who face racism and economic exploitation and are scapegoated for the economic ills endemic to the world economy. LACCC demands a fair and just immigration and refugee policies that uphold the human rights of migrants and ensures not only their safety but also guarantees their economic, social and cultural rights.