October 24, 2023
Honorable Steven Horsford
Chair, Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)
406 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Chairman Horsford:
As a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black immigrants and a collaborative representing Arab, African and Asian immigrant communities in the United States, The UndocuBlack Network and Communities United for Status and Protection urge the members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) to publicly call for a ceasefire in Gaza and cosponsor H.Res 786, co-led by Reps. Cori Bush and Rashida Tlaib which calls for an immediate de-escalation and cease-fire in Israel and occupied Palestine.
The resolution urges the Administration to take immediate steps to deescalate the violence in Gaza, by calling for a ceasefire, demanding that Israel allow humanitarian aid into Gaza, and refusing to send any additional weapons or funding to the Israeli military. Since 1971, the CBC has been the voice of conscience in Congress, using its power and influence to ensure that African Americans and other marginalized communities are protected and ensured justice. Black Palestinians exist. The level of racially based, systemic violence Israel uses against Palestinians is similar to what countless Black Muslims have endured around the globe, including their ongoing surveillance in the U.S. We are all too familiar with the violence of apartheid regimes.
As we witness the unfathomable death and destruction in the Gaza Strip and Israel where thousands of people have been killed, injured, displaced, and more than 250 remain held hostage, including the children and elderly. The cycle of violence against innocent civilians needs to stop. There are over two million Palestinians in Gaza, half of whom are children. Without intervention, this catastrophe threatens to become unimaginably more devastating.
In Gaza, the UN has said that water, food, fuel, medical supplies, and even body bags, are running out due to the siege. The UN warned that people – particularly young children – will soon start dying of severe dehydration. Neighborhoods have been destroyed and turned into complete rubble. Palestinians in search of safety have nowhere to go. Many of those who relocated from northern Gaza to the south after the relocation order by the Israeli army were reportedly bombed as they attempted to flee or once they arrived in southern Gaza.
It is our collective responsibility to put our voices together and call on all Heads of State, the UN Security Council, and actors on the ground, to prioritize the preservation of human life above all else. During this ceasefire, we call on all parties to unconditionally:
- Facilitate the delivery of lifesaving assistance, including food, medical supplies, fuel, and the resumption of electricity and internet to Gaza, in addition to safe passage of humanitarian and medical staff
- Free all civilian hostages, especially children and elderly
- Allow humanitarian convoys to reach UN facilities, schools, hospitals, and health facilities in northern Gaza and commit to protecting them along with the civilians and staff inside them at all times
- Rescind orders by the Government of Israel for civilians to depart northern Gaza
- Allow patients in critical condition to be medically evacuated for urgent care
We are calling on CBC leadership to use its influence to push President Biden and global leaders to take immediate action to ensure a ceasefire comes into effect. It remains our only option to avert further loss of civilian life and humanitarian catastrophe. Anything less will forever be a stain on our collective conscience.
The UndocuBlack Network (UBN)
Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP)
Communities United for Status and Protection (CUSP) is a collaborative of grassroots immigrant community organizations working together to win permanent status for our members and communities, and build a more inclusive immigrant rights movement that centers the needs and experiences of African, Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Latinx, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Asian immigrants. CUSP members are: The UndocuBlack Network (UBN), founded in 2016, is a multigenerational network of currently and formerly undocumented Black people that fosters community, facilitates access to resources and contributes to transforming the realities of our people so we are thriving and living our fullest lives. UBN has chapters in New York City, the DC/MD/VA area, and Los Angeles, CA.
Adhikaar (Nepali: rights) is a New York-based non-profit, organizing the Nepali-speaking community to promote human rights and social justice for all. We are a women-led workers’ center and community center focused on workers’ rights, immigration rights, access to affordable healthcare and language justice. We organize the Nepali-speaking community to create broader social change; build coalitions on advocacy campaigns that address our community’s needs; center women and the most impacted communities in our leadership; engage members in participatory action research; and implement community education, workplace development training, and support services.
African Communities Together (ACT) is an organization of African immigrants fighting for civil rights, opportunity, and a better life for our families here in the U.S. and worldwide. ACT empowers African immigrants to integrate socially, get ahead economically, and engage civically. We connect African immigrants to critical services, help Africans develop as leaders, and organize our communities on the issues that matter.
Haitian Bridge Alliance (HBA) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit community organization that advocates for fair and humane immigration policies and provides bond support and humanitarian, legal, and other social services, with a particular focus on Black immigrants, the Haitian community, women, LGBTQAI+ individuals and survivors of torture and other human rights abuses. Since 2015, HBA has provided services to asylum seekers and other migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, in U.S. detention, and during U.S. immigration proceedings.
National Network for Arab American Communities (NNAAC) is a national consortium of independent Arab American community-based organizations. The Network’s primary mission is to build the capacity of Arab American non-profit organizations that focus on the needs and issues impacting their local community while collectively addressing those issues nationally.