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Immigration Activists Denounce RAISE Act After President Trump’s Immigration System Proposal

By Jasmyne A. Cannick | California Black Media

President Donald Trump’s proposal for a new merit-based immigration system that would screen visa applicants using a point system may be racist and exclusionary but so is an immigrant rights movement that excludes, overlooks, and straight up ignores the voices of their darker skinned counterparts.

Last week immigrant rights activists decried the Republican-backed proposal known as the RAISE Act or Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act, that would highly favor people between the ages of 26 and 30 with a doctorate, high English proficiency and a job offer with a high salary.   Applicants with the highest number of points would go to the front of the line to receive visas.

The Los Angeles area is home to nearly 3.5 million immigrants with approximately one million of them undocumented.  Here, public officials are quick to proudly tout the dozens of languages that are spoken by Angelenos and how much immigrants–regardless of their citizenship status–contribute to the city’s economy and culture.  In theory, Democratic politicians and immigrant right activists will tell you that all immigrants matter but in practice only one immigrant’s voice is only ever represented, celebrated or invited to the table.

Mass deportation and ICE raids under the Trump administration are not exclusive to Latinos.  Under Trump, more and more Africans and Caribbeans are finding it difficult to qualify for asylum or refugee status when they arrive at U.S. ports of entries–one of the primary ways that they can successfully stay in the country.

An estimated 575,000 Black immigrants were living in the U.S. without authorization in 2013, according to the Pew Research Center study, making up 16% of all Black immigrant’s population. Among Black immigrants from the Caribbean, 16% are undocumented immigrants as are 13% of Black immigrants from Africa.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) and New York University Law School’s Immigrants’ Rights Clinic 2016 The State of Black Immigrants report found that Black immigrants maintain higher rates of employment in service and sales positions than their counterparts of other immigrant backgrounds.

According to the BAJI, immigrants from African and Caribbean countries comprise most the foreign-born Black population. Jamaica was the top country of origin in 2014 with 665,628 Black immigrants in the U.S., accounting for 18% of the national total.  Haiti seconds the list with 598,000 Black immigrants, making up 16% of the U.S. Black immigrant population.  Although half of Black immigrants are from the Caribbean region alone, African immigrants drove much of the recent growth of the Black immigrant population and made up 39% of the total foreign-born Black population in 2014. The number of African immigrants in the U.S. increased 153%, from 574,000 in 2000 to 1.5 million in 2014, with Nigeria and Ethiopic as the two leading countries of origin.

Los Angeles has a large and vibrant community of Black immigrants that but you’d never know because they are seldom reported on or heard from in the fight for immigrant rights–a fight that is led and dominated by Latinos. And while I expect Republicans to overlook Blacks until it’s politically convenient to pit us against one another, I do not expect the party of coalition building, solidarity and ‘we’re stronger together’ to do the same.

Let me put this into the right perspective for you. The party that calls out people, organizations and Republicans for their exclusion of women, transgender, the LGBT community, people with disabilities, members of the Asian/Pacific Islander community, Latinos, Blacks, veterans, seniors and I could go on and on does not itself (or very rarely) include Black immigrants.

Seldom discussed in mixed company is the fact that African-Americans privately agree with Trump’s assertion that “illegal immigration” has harmed the Black community economically. And even though Trump has no problem throwing African-Americans into the mix when it bolsters his immigration agenda, immigrant rights activists haven’t been as willing to include Black voices in their shared fight.

I look at the fight for the undocumented in America and think–strategically–Latino immigrant rights groups would do good to include the voices and images of Black immigrants to gain support from an already apprehensive and on the fence nation of African-Americans who may need more convincing that the fight for immigrant rights affects Blacks.  Despite HUD Secretary Ben Carson’s belief that slaves were immigrants–most African-Americans do not see themselves as immigrants and many are wary of and oppose the Democratic Party’s insistence that “illegal immigration” doesn’t harm Black employment.  Like white gay rights advocates and the Black community–it wasn’t until the visibility and voices of Black LGBT folks increased that real advances were made on LGBT issues with Blacks who mainly say gay rights as affecting and benefiting wealthy white gays.

Trump and the Republican Party are not going to stop pushing their anti-immigration narrative that “illegal immigration” threatens the jobs of poor Black people.  Many African-Americans already believe that there’s a prevailing attitude among Latinos that they don’t need anything from us except for the blueprint from our fight for our civil rights.

The pathway to victory for Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform needs both Black immigrants and African-Americans to succeed. While Latinos may outnumber African-Americans in cities like Los Angeles the reality is that our vote still matters and neither immigrant rights activists nor the Democratic Party can afford for African-Americans to remain on the fence about immigration reform. We win elections by bringing people together and working together

 

What It Do With the LUE: Quictamac

Quictamac

Quictamac

By Lue Dowdy

Rap Artist, Quictamac is What IT DO Inland Empire! Another dope artist making it happen through music. I’m going to need y’all to read all about it right here.

Quictamac Samuel Quictamac” Maeshack is a Hip-hop artist born in Los Angeles California and raised in Long Beach, California. As a teenager, he was recognized locally for having great rhymes and lyrics needed to become a Hip-hop legend. In 1993, he was approached by the Press-Telegram, who wrote an article about his prevailing name in hip-hip music.

Quictamac has an active solid fan base locally and globally. He has been actively involved in the Hip-hop industry since 1993, which gives him over 16-years of industry experience and exposure.

It is known on the streets that Quictamac lyrically battled daily, as he was born to do. Over the course of his career, he has written four songs for Lil Half Dead’s debut album, “The Dead Has Arisen,” and he was also featured on Half Dead’s second single and video, “12 Pacofdoja.” He went on tour with Lil Half Dead and the Dogg Pound across the country and performed at Teens Summit in Washington D.C. Quictamac’s image continued to grow and that growth resulted in a signed contract with Def Jam West in 1995 through 1998, fulfilling his contractual agreement.

As Quictamac developed into an artist, he also developed into the role of fatherhood, placing a strain on his development and growth. He saw this as an opportunity to commence his college career and develop not only as an artist, but as a father, leader and manager in the Hip-hop industry. His keen ability to learn and develop resulted in his following features: “True Crimes: Streets of LA” soundtrack which was featured on Xbox, PlayStation 2 and Game Cube which co-featured Snoop Dogg (2003).

Quictamac’s unique style can also be heard on Lil C-Style’s Blacc Balled album, “Bounce Yo Ridahz.” In addition, Quictamac has performed with some of Hip-hop’s legends such as Snoop Dogg, Tha Dogg Pound, Tha Twinz, Mack-10, KRS-1and Slick Rick to name a few. He has a current following on the internet and has thousands of fans which frequently blog with him daily. Make sure you follow and support this talented artist on all social media channels under Quictamac.

Until next week L’s way up in da air!!!

Community Colleges Launch Campaign to Educate Californians About Career Training Programs

By Manny Otiko | California Black Media 

California Community Colleges have kicked off a new campaign to inform underserved populations about the good-paying jobs available through career education.

According to a press release, there is a skill and an information gap in California, as many high-paying jobs go unfilled because employers can’t find employees with the right training.  This includes jobs in the information technology, healthcare, biotechnology and digital media fields. 

Many people are put off by the cost of college education, but advocates say community colleges offer a low-cost alternative to career education programs and are expanding new efforts to ensure people are aware.

“Both adults and high school students hesitate to pursue higher education to gain new skills and refresh existing ones because they worry about student debt,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “Career education offers a great pathway to increase earnings and make a living wage without that type of debt burden.”

She added that the legislature had allocated money specifically targeted for students interested in training for new careers.

The campaign will target potential students through ads on traditional and digital media, a website and an app. The promotional campaign is part of a $200 million recurring investment made by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature, according to a news release. 

Ton-Quinlivan also said community colleges would work with local organizations to spread the message.

“We will get the advice of community leaders on how to get the word out,” she said.

Cassandra Jennings, president of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, said working alongside community organizations was an important part of spreading the word in the Black community.

“What’s going to be critical to their success is working with non-profit organizations, community-led organizations to really do a targeted outreach to reach certain populations,” said Jennings.

The California Community College system has 114 campuses and educates more than 2 million students. It is the largest provider of workforce training in the nation.

African-American students make up 6.5 percent of the students at community colleges. About 5 percent of the more than 6 million students in the K-12 system are Black. Black students make up 6 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges.