Immigration Lawyer: Black Americans Should ‘Qualify as Refugees’ Under US Law

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

There exists among far too many Americans an almost soul-deep determination to treat black people as perpetual victims. A rather absurd example of this sad song was recently written by Washington Post guest writer Raha Jorjani.

Jorjani, an immigration defense lawyer in California, asks if black Americans might “qualify as refugees” possessing a “strong claim for asylum protection under U.S. law”:

Suppose a client walked into my office and told me that police officers in his country had choked a man to death over a petty crime. Suppose he said police fatally shot another man in the back as he ran away. That they arrested a woman during a traffic stop and placed her in jail, where she died three days later. That a 12-year-old boy in his country was shot and killed by the police as he played in the park.

Suppose he told me that all of those victims were from the same ethnic community — a community whose members fear being harmed, tortured or killed by police or prison guards. And that this is true in cities and towns across his nation. At that point, as an immigration lawyer, I’d tell him he had a strong claim for asylum protection under U.S. law.

What if, next, he told me he was from America? Black people in the United States face such racial violence that they could qualify as refugees.

In the paragraphs above, Jorjani applies episodic instances of bad policing as the black American experience writ large. She irresponsibly conflates “hundreds of noncitizens facing deportation” with thousands of black Americans who routinely commit crimes.

Jorjani paints a drab picture of life for blacks in America–in 1955, not 2015.

Unfortunately, she was just warming up:

African Americans make up just 13 percent of the U.S. population, but they accounted for 31 percent of people killed by police in 2012. According to a ProPublica analysis, black teenagers were 21 times more likely than white teens to be shot and killed by the police between 2010 and 2012. In the United States, there are 1.6 million black men in prison, on probation or on parole, double the number who were enslaved in 1850.

Did it ever occur to Raha Jorjani, and her ilk, that many of these black people made terrible decisions that caused their deaths at the hands of police?

Yes, blacks accounted for 13 percent of the U.S. population and 31 percent of people killed by police in 2012. But blacks also committed a disproportionate amount of the crimes.

In 2012, white males were 38 percent of the population and committed 4,582 murders. That same year, black males were just 6.6 percent of the population but committed a whopping 5,531 murders.

These facts and figures are jarring. But any serious observer should understand that lawbreaking black Americans, young black males particularly, put themselves in close proximity to (mostly white male) police officers at rates sometimes five to 10 times higher than their white counterparts.

And it’s not just murder rates.

Blacks also committed a larger number of robberies in 2012 than whites did, while representing a much smaller share of the overall population. That’s a recipe for disaster.

“I would raise the fact that since 2010,” Jorjani writes, “22 states have passed new voting restrictions that disproportionately affect black voters.”

This is the victimhood of black people in F U L L B L O O M.

Raha Jorjani is either blind or ignorant to the fact that an overwhelming majority of black voters support the requirement of a photo ID as a means to vote in political elections. A 2012 Pew Research Center survey showed 62 percent of blacks support a required to show a state issued photo ID to vote. A majority of blacks said the same thing in 2014.

America “is dangerous for black people,” Jorjani writes. “Black parents live with an ever-present fear that their children will become victims of state violence and terror on the basis of race.”

Jorjani is right about something. America is dangerous for black people, largely because of other black people.

Oakland, California is about 15 miles north of Raha Jorjani’s office in Alameda County. While blacks in Oakland make up 28 percent of the population, they were “83 percent of the 12,161 suspects in last year’s homicides, attempted homicides, robberies, assaults with firearms and assaults with weapons other than firearms, according to crime suspect data provided by the Oakland Police Department,” writes Chip Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle. 

These crimes stats come from “descriptions provided by crime victims and witnesses,” as Johnson writes:

— 8,228 of the 9,491 robbery suspects last year were described as African American.

— 844 of the 1,091 firearms assault suspects were described as African American.

— 1,034 of 1,439 people suspected in assaults with weapons other than firearms were said to be African American.

— 27 of the 32 suspects arrested last year for homicides were African American.

— 41 of 79 suspects in unsolved homicides last year were described as African American. Thirty were listed as “unknown” race or ethnicity.

Sure, errors in identifying the ethnicity of their offender may have been made on the part of some victims. But if these numbers were cooked up for a racist conspiracy to apprehend, prosecute, and lock away black people, wouldn’t America’s ratings-starved and racially-obsessed media be leading with that breaking news story from California to Coney Island? Wouldn’t America’s first black president find a camera to criticize every cop in America?

Those crime statists weren’t cooked up. And what’s undeniable in Oakland, just as it is across the country, is that far too many blacks cling to a culture of criminal behavior that produces many of the police-involved deaths that have captivated our collective consciences.

Not talking about the problem of black crime won’t make it go away. And there is no refuge from this truth.


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