U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke issued the following statement calling on the Obama Administration and her colleagues in Congress to expand the face of immigration beyond the Latino community, and recognize the African Diaspora that exists in the U.S.
"We must embrace the diversity of those who are impacted by reform and understand that this debate cannot solely rest on the shoulders of our Latino brothers and sisters. Our nation's fixation on Latinos as the target immigrant group has resulted in a skewed depiction of the diversity of our immigrant population," stated Representative Yvette D. Clarke.
There are approximately three million immigrants from the African Diaspora in the U.S., many of whom entered the country with legal documentation as students or asylum seekers. Additionally, there are approximately four-hundred thousand undocumented or "out of status' immigrants who are negatively affected by our broken system.
"African immigrants, like so many other groups from around the world, are dealing with backlogged immigration processing; ageing out of the legal immigration system and falling "out of status'; racial and status discrimination; aggregated felony laws sans judicial review; deportation; an insecure student visa program and much, much more.
"If we turn our backs on those law-abiding contributors to our civil society that come to our shores embracing the American Dream, labor in rebuilding our great nation, strengthen our economy, and serve honorably in our military, we turn our back on ourselves. It is time for people of good will to stand for those who fear or are unable to stand for themselves," concluded Representative Yvette D. Clarke.