Photo Credit: Photo courtesy of Mannywellz
DACA Recipient & Musician Creates Campaign For Black Undocumented Immigrants
On June 18, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, rejecting the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate the program.
Implemented by then-President Barack Obama in 2012, DACA serves as a relief from deportation to eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children. DACA gives young undocumented immigrants: both protection from deportation, and a work permit.
But even The Supreme Court’s decision, Nigerian-born, Maryland-based multi-instrumentalist Mannywellz has created a campaign to help Black undocumented immigrants.
Mannywellz has been in the U.S. since 2003 and as a DACA recipient, he’s trying to keep his livelihood by creating music and helping fellow Black undocumented immigrants. In fact, being a DACA recipient has affected his career as he couldn’t go on an international tour with Jidenna a few years ago, and now the potential of losing DACA would be devastating.
He just launched his latest campaign “Happy To Be Black,” to sell t-shirts; 100% of the proceeds will go to national immigration organizations UndocuBlack and Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), who both provide financial support to undocumented Black immigrants impacted by the pandemic.
“Being Black and being undocumented is the hardest thing you can do,” says Mannywellz. “I’m just trying to stay encouraged and motivated in what I believe in. The news is sad and depressing, why can’t we just be good to each other? Of all the problems in this country and that’s what this administration is worried about.”