The Biden-Harris Agenda for the African Diaspora
The African diaspora community is one of America’s most diverse communities, inclusive of people who speak multiple languages, come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and practice various faiths. While unique on some fronts, culturally, people of African descent also share similar values: supporting their families, creating opportunities for their communities, and contributing to America’s growth and prosperity. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris share these values and know that the next administration must understand what the current one does not: in America, no matter where you start in life or where your parents were born, there should be no barriers to your success and no limits to what you can achieve. As president and vice president, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will rebuild our country in a way that brings everyone along.
Since the 1970s, the African immigrant population in the United States has roughly doubled every decade. Through employment and educational exchange programs, many African immigrant communities have flourished in the United States, building a new generation of highly educated and socially conscious Africans throughout our country. Representing nearly 2 million first-generation Americans, it is one of the fastest growing immigrant groups.
As president, Biden will immediately do away with the Trump administration’s inhumane immigration policies. He is committed to:
- Preserving the longstanding principle of our immigration system to reunite families and enhance our diversity.
- Keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including Dreamers.
- Reversing the travel bans aimed at decreasing legal immigration to the U.S., including the Muslim travel ban which has severely impacted Nigerian, Sudanese, Somalian, and other diaspora communities.
- Restoring America’s historic commitment as a place of refuge for those fleeing war or persecution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to millions of people losing their jobs, pay, and health care, and hundreds of thousands of small businesses closing for good. President Trump’s failed response to the pandemic has only worsened the economic crisis in our country, including in the African diaspora community. A stronger, more effective reopening requires putting measures in place to ensure workplace safety, to restore consumer confidence, to support communities and small businesses, and to provide all Americans with the help they need to get back to work. Biden believes this is the moment to imagine and build a new American economy for our families and for the next generation. His Build Back Better plan will:
- Mobilize American manufacturing and innovation, creating millions of good-paying union jobs.
- Build a modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean-energy future to meet the climate crisis.
- Build a 21st-century caregiving and education workforce, making it far easier to afford child care and to ensure aging relatives and people with disabilities have better access to home and community-based care.
- Advance racial equity, closing the racial wealth gap by expanding affordable housing, investing in Black, Latino, and Native American entrepreneurs and communities, advancing policing and criminal justice reform, and making real the promise of educational opportunity regardless of race or ZIP code.
- Update the social contract that treats American workers as essential at all times, not just times of crisis –– with higher wages, stronger benefits, and fair and safe workplaces.
- Help small businesses and entrepreneurs, the backbone of our country, come out the other side of this crisis strong, with increased access to capital.
The African diaspora community understands education is a path to employment and economic security. Joe Biden is proposing a comprehensive plan to invest in children’s education from birth through 12th grade, as well as for educating and training Americans beyond high school. As president, Biden will:
- Support our educators by giving them the pay and respect they deserve.
- Ensure that ZIP code, income, race, or disability does not determine any child’s future or ability to attend college or university by eliminating funding gaps, providing universal preschool to all 3- and 4-year olds, and investing resources to help students grow into physically and emotionally healthy adults.
- Provide access to affordable education and training beyond high school, tackle unmanageable student loan debt, and support colleges and universities that play unique and vital roles in their communities, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority-Serving Institutions.
Members of the African diaspora have bravely stood on the front lines fighting against COVID-19. Many are the doctors and nurses who have been treating the infected and compassionate nursing home staff who have been caring for the elderly. Biden’s plan will:
- Ensure all frontline workers receive appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and appropriate training to use it and COVID-19 testing based upon their risk of exposure to the virus.
- Establish and enforce health and safety standards for workplaces.
- Ensure every person has access to free COVID-19 testing, treatment, preventative services, and vaccines, when they become available.
- Accelerate the testing and deployment of innovative solutions that improve quality of care and increase wages for low-wage health care workers.
U.S. – Africa Policy
Biden will bring to the presidency decades of foreign policy experience and a demonstrated commitment to Africa. He will renew the United States’ mutually respectful engagement toward Africa with a bold strategy that reaffirms our commitment to supporting democratic institutions on the continent; advancing lasting peace and security; promoting economic growth, trade, and investment; and supporting sustainable development. Biden will advance these objectives by:
- Asserting America’s commitment to shared prosperity, peace and security, democracy, and governance as foundational principles of U.S.-Africa engagement.
- Restoring and reinvigorating diplomatic relations with African governments and regional institutions, including the African Union.
- Ensuring the U.S. Government and U.S. Foreign Service reflect the rich composition of the American citizenry, including African diaspora professionals.
- Continuing the Young African Leaders Initiative and deepening America’s commitment to engage with Africa’s dynamic young leaders.