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The UndocuBlack Network expresses its solidarity with Black migrants who are fleeing Ukraine and facing anti-Black discrimination within the interior of the country and ports of entry into neighboring Poland.
We also condemn Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine as yet another act of imperialism that will cause irreparable harm. We stand in solidarity with all people resisting occupation globally. We are all too familiar with the extent of physical, economic, and societal damage that comes from white men deciding that they are entitled to a territory that does not belong to them.
Some versions of colonialism, militarism, and imperialism at the hands of the former Soviet Union (now Russia), the United States and its NATO allies have created the vast majority of the world’s refugee and asylum-seeking population.
“As the immigrant rights community moves towards a unified call for welcoming Ukrainians fleeing the war and protecting Ukrainians in the U.S. from deportation, it would be irresponsible for any organization to not name the vulnerability of Black immigrants within this conflict.” — The UndocuBlack Network Team
As a network of Black immigrants, we are disheartened, but not shocked, at the news of Black migrants being denied their right to seek refuge from the war in Ukraine.
The images of Black students being pushed to the back of lines at entry points into Poland invoke images of Black asylum seekers camping in makeshift shelters at the U.S. southern border. The images of Black babies being forced to wait for hours in single-digit temperatures before being allowed on trains to safe zones invokes images of Black babies on Title 42 deportation flights headed back towards imminent danger in their home countries.
We are reminded yet again that immigration is a Black issue, and it is global, that anti-Blackness is universal and endemic to every form of immigration enforcement. The very concept of borders and the arbitrary standards of deciding who gets to move about freely from one place to another is rooted in white supremacy. Whether at the U.S./Mexico border or Ukraine’s border with Poland, Black migrants always bear the heaviest brunt of this cruelty.
As the immigrant rights community moves towards a unified call for welcoming Ukrainians fleeing the war and protecting Ukrainians in the U.S. from deportation, it would be irresponsible for any organization to not name the vulnerability of Black immigrants within this conflict.
As the Biden Administration perpetuates its own version of anti-Blackness within the U.S. immigration enforcement system, any call for the protection of Ukrainian refugees would be hypocritical without the specific acknowledgment of the experience of Black migrants both here and in Ukraine.