Every day, organizations worldwide are engaged in a collective two steps forward, one step back march toward improved immigration services and policies. What hard-earned lessons are these nonprofits, and the foundations that support them, learning from their persistent efforts? This collection of evaluations, case studies, and lessons learned exposes and explores the nuances of effective collaboration, the value of coordinated messaging, the bedrock of ongoing advocacy efforts, and the vital importance of long-term and flexible funding.

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Uncovering the Truth: Violence and Abuse Against Black Migrants in Immigration Detention

October 26, 2022

Studies show that Black immigrants face a significantly harsher reality inside Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities, with increased risks of deportation, higher bond amounts, solitary confinement, physical and emotional abuse, and more. For years, organizations such as Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), The UndocuBlack Network, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP), and Haitian Bridge Alliance have exposed the abusive and disparate treatment of Black migrants. Meanwhile, courageous detained individuals have organized and resisted against egregious abuse by coordinating mass hunger strikes, circulating petitions with their podmates, and demanding accountability and their release from detention. Each act of resistance and exposure has led to greater public awareness and power building inside detention facilities. However, ICE continues to fail in making any structural changes, and the agency continues to operate with near-total impunity from its acts of violence.In this study, we reviewed nearly 17,000 calls made to the Freedom for Immigrants National Immigration Detention Hotline over a period of six years (January 1, 2016 - December 31, 2021). The data reveals a compelling and disturbing pattern of racism, violence, and harm perpetrated by ICE specifically against Black migrants in immigration detention.


Our Stories and Visions: Gender in Black Immigrant Communities

February 12, 2021

Because this report discusses topics that some may find triggering, we have broad content warnings for the whole report which include: racism, displacement, civil war, misogynoir, xenophobia, sexual assault, police brutality, immigration enforcement (ICE), deportation as well as mental and physical health. At the beginning of each chapter, section-specific content warnings are also provided. Below each graph and image, we include descriptive captions for accessibility.Our report is story-driven, which means that we center the voices and experiences of the individuals that we interviewed. We include quotes from them throughout the report. While we may not necessarily agree with all of the content or the language used in each quote, we include them because we believe they help paint a holistic picture of the stories and visions of Black immigrants.For confidentiality reasons, we have removed most personal identifiers and only refer to participants by their location and age. Towards the end of the report, we have a works cited page where you can see some of the articles, projects, and stories that inspired our research. 

"There Is a Target On Us": The Impact of Anti-Black Racism on African Migrants at Mexico’s Southern Border

January 18, 2021

Each year, Africans continue to flee their countries of origin in order to find safety and survival. As immigration to Europe has become more difficult, particularly since the continent began externalizing its immigration policy in 2015, many Africans have been forced to take an alternative route – flying to South America and making the harrowing journey through jungles and rivers to reach Mexico and travel onward to the United States or Canada. This has led to an increase in African migration into Mexico, including from Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ghana, and Somalia, over the same period.In this Report, the Authors situate interviews with 20 migrants, and African migration to Mexico in general, within a broader discourse of anti-Black racism in the country. The Report begins with an overview of how discrimination on the bases of race and skin color impacts Afro-Mexicans, Black migrants, and other peoples of African descent. Next, the Report describes the recent migration of Africans to and through Mexico, including the causes of migration out of Africa and through Latin America. The Report then highlights how African migration through Mexico has been impeded by the current Mexican Administration's restrictive immigration enforcement. Within this context, the Report outlines the findings from BAJI's interviews and additional interviews that the Authors conducted with a leader of the Assembly as well as service providers, including about the intersectional discrimination faced by African women in Mexico. Finally, the Authors recommend some steps to address the impact of Mexico's anti-Black racism on African migrants, as well as other Black migrants, at the country's southern border.African migrants rarely form part of the narrative of migration through Latin America, or in Mexican society in general. This Report is a partial response to that failure of public discourse and policy analysis, and points to the need to address that void in a systemic way. The current context in Mexico – like the current global anti-Black racism movement – demands and creates an opening for this work.

Research & Evaluation