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Hundreds demand to end white supremacy and an end of human concentration camps at the US border during a rally in Philadelphia, PA on July 12, 2019 as the Trump administration announced that ICE will follow up raids and deportations in the following days. (Photo by Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

What Do Impending ICE Raids Mean for Black Migrants?

ICE is expected to begin crackdowns across the US on Sunday, putting thousands of undocumented migrants from Latin America as well as Haiti, Cameroon and DRC at increased risk of abuse and deportation.

Immigrants across the US are bracing themselves for planned ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) raids, expected to occur in several major US cities beginning on Sunday.

"Trump's delusional declaration of ICE raids this week is a serious threat to Black and immigrant communities," Abraham Paulos, the National Communications Director of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) tells OkayAfrica in a statement on behalf of the organization. "The real immigration crisis is the one created by the Trump administration's racist and xenophobic agenda and policies. This administration has made it a top priority to separate and incarcerate migrant families and to keep Black and Brown asylum seekers and refugees from entering the U.S."

Initial plans to round up groups of undocumented immigrants were halted last month by the Department of Homeland Security and the issue was brought before Congress. Now, authorities are pushing ahead, putting thousands of undocumented families at risk of deportation as ICE—with the backing of President Donald Trump—plan arrests in at least 10 major cities, including New York City, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston and Denver.


According to The New York Times, those being specifically targeted are migrants who recently crossed the border, and others who have previously been issued deportation orders. Trump confirmed the move on Friday, claiming that the government would be targeting "criminals" first, but others found to have entered the US "illegally" will be subject to arrests as well.

Despite mainstream media reports which frame the impending crackdown as a primarily Latin American issue, black immigrants—particularly those from Haiti and various African countries including Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo, entering the United States through Latin America—are equally vulnerable to ICE's efforts, and to dangerous anti-immigrant policies plaguing migrant populations in the nation. Since early June, it's been reported that a thousand Haitian migrants have been apprehended at the Central Texas border with Mexico.

The news undoubtedly stokes anxiety for people within these communities, especially with increasing reports of forced family separations and detainees dying while in ICE custody. This is not the first time the government has carried out such raids, however many believe current waves are intentionally designed to foster fear within immigrant populations. In response, immigration lawyers are likely to reopen cases for families in order to prevent, or at least stall the process of deportation, according to The New York Times.

Advocacy groups are also preparing to respond to further intimidation form ICE as well as the growing threat of state violence against migrant populations, and have denounced the president's actions. "It is no secret that Trump and his administration view immigrants of color as less than human, revealing the cruelty behind his immigration policies," says Paulos. "He doubled down on his racist sentiments by not only stereotyping immigrants as criminals and referring to them as 'animals,' but by also codifying this disparaging language into White House doctrine."

Music

6 Samples From 'Éthiopiques' in Hip-Hop

A brief history of Ethio-jazz cultural exchange featuring songs by Nas & Damian Marley, K'naan, Madlib and more.

This article was originally published on OkayAfrica in March, 2017. We're republishing it here for our Crossroads series.

It's 2000 something. I'm holed up in my bedroom searching for samples to chop up on Fruity Loops. While deep into the free-market jungle of Amazon's suggested music section, I stumble across a compilation of Ethiopian music with faded pictures of nine guys jamming in white suit jackets. I press play on the 30 second sample.

My mind races with the opportunities these breakbeats offered a budding beat maker. Catchy organs, swinging horns, funky guitar riffs, soulful melodies and grainy and pained vocalists swoon over love lost and gained. Sung in my mother tongue—Amharic—this was a far cry from the corny synthesizer music of the 1990s that my parents played on Saturday mornings. I could actually sample this shit.

The next day, I burn a CD and pop it into my dad's car. His eyes light up when the first notes ooze out of the speakers. “Where did you get this?" He asks puzzlingly. “The internet," I respond smiling.

In the 1970s my dad was one of thousands of high school students in Addis Ababa protesting the monarchy. The protests eventually created instability which lead to a coup d'état. The monarchy was overthrown and a Marxist styled military junta composed of low ranking officers called the Derg came to power. The new regime subsequently banned music they deemed to be counter revolutionary. When the Derg came into power, Amha Eshete, a pioneering record producer and founder of Ahma Records, fled to the US and the master recordings of his label's tracks somehow ended up in a warehouse in Greece.

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