Recap: African Migration Conference 2023
Black Migrants in the Bay Area
By, Najah Springer
This past weekend, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) was honored to partner with the African Advocacy Network (AAN) and Priority Africa Network (PAN) in the second annual African Migration Conference hosted by the University of San Francisco.
This year’s focus on “Black Migrants in the Bay Area” provided a snapshot of some of the challenges faced by newly arrived Black migrants. Speakers addressed current and historic anti-Black immigration policies, gaps in resources once migrants make it into the US as well as legal obstacles.
The conference on African Migration featured a diverse range of speakers:
- Tsion Gurmu, Legal Director for Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- Aron B. Oqubamichael, DOJ Accredited Representative for Black Alliance for Just Immigration
- Dr. Kim Tabari, University of Southern California Equity Research Institute
- Muluemebet Alemayehu, Law Offices of Muluemebet Alemayehu, PC Inc
- Dr. Marco Durazo, University of San Francisco Department of Politics
- Dr. James Taylor, University of San Francisco College of Arts & Sciences
When highlighting the accomplishments of immigrants in the U.S., Dr. Kim Tabari emphasized that undocumented immigrants in California contribute $3.1 billion a year in state and local taxes, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a research entity based in D.C.
Tsion Gurmu uplifted the experience of Black migrants in detention. “We don’t have what can be called a meaningful immigration system at all– we have a criminalization and deportation regime that seeks to control and treat immigrants of color as the enemy,” she stated.
Aron Oqubamichael discussed the lack of a functional system that can provide emergency assistance such as shelter, food, or other basic needs. “There must be publicly supported, culturally or linguistically informed, existing systems in place that welcome newly arrived people no matter the reasons they came here,” Aron said.
For more information about the African Migration Conference, please visit (website)