• Lynn Tramonte

Seeking Funds to Turbocharge Black Mauritanian Legal Defense

Text to Donate: ATHOME to 44321

Columbus, OH – The Trump Administration’s callous campaign to deport Black Mauritanians to a country where they are being arrested, abused, and enslaved has outraged many Americans. From ABC 6, the Columbus Dispatch, and the Cincinnati Enquirer to The Atlantic, the Washington Post and USA Today, the situation has garnered attention for its particular cruelty--amidst a sea of other inhumane immigration policy decisions carried out by this Administration.

Americans are outraged, and now there is something they can do about it. Leaders with the newly-formed organization, African Immigrant Relief--lead by Ahmed Tidiane, Hamidou Sy, Tafsir Ndiath, and Julie Nemecek--are teaming up with the Ohio Immigrant Alliance and Cleveland Jobs with Justice to raise money for legal fees, bonds, and related expenses. The goal of the Black Mauritanian Deportation Defense Fund is to ensure that all Black Mauritanians fighting deportation have access to qualified legal counsel, so that they can remain at home with their families. Donations are tax-deductible.

Already, the Black Mauritanian Defense team has temporarily halted nine deportations, and emergency motions have been filed and remain pending for several other cases. Attorneys who have provided pro bono services include: Julie Nemecek; Advocates for Basic Legal Equality (ABLE); Yolanda Rondon with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center in Cincinnati; Catholic Charities Southwestern Ohio; and Alexandria Lubans-Otto in Kentucky.

Still, ICE continues to arrest Black Mauritanians at a rapid pace. The Trump Administration is trying to deport these men and women quickly, before they can mount a legal case. That is why we need to quickly expand the Mauritanian Defense team with quality attorneys.

Even though courts have granted emergency deportation stays in these nine cases, ICE continues to keep the individuals locked up in immigration jails. Hopefully soon, some of these people will be able to go before a judge and request release from detention. Thousands of dollars will be needed to pay bonds for these individuals, so that they can get back to their families and their lives.

Said Ahmed Tidiane of African Immigrant Relief, based in Columbus, Ohio: “The Trump Administration’s insistence on deporting Black Mauritanians is cruel, but we have legal tools to fight it. African Immigrant Relief is calling on all Americans who object to this policy to help us build the legal team we need to put an end to this horrible practice.”

The UndocuBlack Network says, “Black immigrants are under attack from this administration. We continue to face high rates of detention and deportation; and maltreatment in detention centers around the country. The profiling of Black Mauritanians is a backdoor Muslim Ban that is breaking families apart. We ask you to join us in fighting for Black Mauritanians.”

Deb Kline, Director of Cleveland Jobs With Justice, said: “What is happening to Black Mauritanians who have built their lives in the United States should be unthinkable, but unfortunately it is a sad reality today. One way we can stand up and fight back is by donating to this fund to support their efforts to remain at home with their families. Please donate now!”

The URL of the Black Mauritanian Deportation Defense Fund page is: https://secure.givelively.org/donate/cleveland-jobs-with-justice/donate-to-keep-black-mauritanians-at-home-with-their-families. Text to donate: ATHOME to 44321.

The fund is administered by African Immigrant Relief, the Ohio Immigrant Alliance and Cleveland Jobs with Justice. In partnership, UndocuBlack Network provided the cover image for the fund and is helping to promote the effort. Donations are tax-deductible.

For more information on deportations to Mauritania, read this backgrounder and this op-ed from the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. To get involved, email MauritanianLegal@gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Davonte Butler/ UndocuBlack Network

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