LOS ANGELES, CA – Today, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion authored by Holly J. Mitchell, Supervisor to the Second District, to strengthen the County’s efforts to serve its immigrant population by addressing the unique cultural and linguistic challenges Black immigrant residents face. The motion is set to implement a culturally relevant outreach plan to connect the Black immigrant community to County departments, resources, and services.
Immigrant communities account for nearly 35% of Los Angeles County’s total population. In the Los Angeles County region, there are nearly 78,000 Black immigrants, with a large portion representing countries in East and West Africa along with the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. The wide range of dialects, diverse cultural traditions, and inequities tied to systemic racism heightened the injustices and disconnection from public resources that Black immigrants often experience.
“As LA County continues to lead in providing equity and calling out xenophobia and racism, it’s important to recognize that our Black immigrant community faces unique challenges due to deep-rooted racial discrimination,” said Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “This motion helps ensure that is accounted for in the outreach efforts and delivery of services to immigrant populations that call LA County home.”
According to the Black Alliance for Just Immigration’s 2018 report, The State of Black Immigrants, although Black immigrants only are 7% of the total immigrant population, 10.6% are deported due to racial profiling and heightened policing. The report also reveals that Black immigrants are more likely to be detained and deported for criminal convictions, despite years of living in the U.S. and having established strong community ties.
“Black migrants are too often made invisible in discussions about the needs, challenges, and aspirations of migrant communities even though Black migrants face disproportionate harm and barriers due to our Blackness” shared Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration. “These harms include criminalization, detention and deportation, exclusion from benefits, and a lack of access to culturally competent information about County relief and services. We look forward to supporting in implementing the goals of the motion.”
The motion directs the Executive Director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs to conduct an assessment on the priority needs impacting Black immigrant communities and their families and identify wraparound services available. Additionally, the motion calls for creating an outreach plan to help connect Black immigrant communities to support services, including legal representation, housing, food, healthcare, and unpaid wages.
To learn more about the motion click here.