The lawmakers write that while Mauritania was the last nation in the world to criminalize slavery, the practice remains rampant in both urban and rural settings. Advocates say that as many as 90,000 people in Mauritania may still be enslaved.
“In addition, Black Mauritanians reportedly face significant discrimination, forced displacement, and exclusion from full citizenship rights,” the lawmakers said. Black Mauritanians have been left stateless after officials revoked their paperwork, leaving them unable to work, unable move around their own home freely, and more vulnerable to human trafficking and other exploitation.
The lawmakers urge the “immediate designation” of TPS or Deferred Enforced Departure (a similar form of temporary relief) for Mauritania, saying conditions in the nation lawfully merit such action. They also say our nation would send a strong message both here at home and abroad by issuing the designation. They write that the deportation of Mauritanian migrants went up during the insurrectionist administration, and that deportations have shamefully continued since.
“TPS and DED holders contribute around $2.3 billion in federal taxes and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes as well Many TPS and DED holders work in essential industries which upheld the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to contribute to the health and safety of our communities,” they wrote. “The appropriate designation would send a clear message of condemnation and protect those seeking refuge in the United States.”
”We urge you to consider the circumstances the Mauritanian people are facing and uphold our country’s commitment to the defense of human rights by immediately designating TPS or DED for Mauritanians living in the United States,” the lawmakers conclude. There is no deadline by which the Biden administration must make a decision on status for Mauritania, but it is an urgent request.
Roughly 3,000 Mauritanian immigrants call Ohio home. Notably missing from the lawmakers’ letter is J.D. Vance, Ohio’s junior senator, the author and Never-Trumper who then ended up campaigning on racist conspiracy theory. He’s among the few exceptions from Stephen Miller’s failed, big-dollar campaign that bear-hugged nativism as a campaign strategy in 2022. Supporting DED or TPS for Mauritania is the right thing to do for Ohio, and the nation. But just a couple weeks into his term, Vance is already failing the people.
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