African Diaspora Seeks More Opportunities From Next US President
By Ramon Taylor — November 7, 2016
Voice of America
NEW YORK — Sisters Rammy Hassan and Sara Bosompel came to the United States from Ghana 12 years ago on the same day, with the same dream: to earn a living as a citizen of the country.
As voters in this year’s presidential election, they want a leader who will recognize the economic contributions of immigrants and be a role model for the country’s taxpayers.
“The foreigners are the ones who are doing most of the job here. Because we like to work,” said Hassan, who became a U.S. citizen two years ago.
By becoming more involved in the political process, naturalized citizens play a greater role in influencing issues that impact immigrants, such as comprehensive immigration reform.
Historian Mamadou Diouf, who teaches African Studies at Columbia University, says African communities in New York are a prime example of how to “Americanize.”
“If you become an elected resource, you are able to negotiate your place within the system,” Diouf said.
Among both citizens and newly arrived immigrants, Diouf claims that the African diaspora population often “stays together.” The result, he says, is a unified political network that achieves change within the community.
“For the documented ones, it’s also their ways of protecting the non-documented, their ways of being able to negotiate, and elections are crucial for voiced negotiation,” Diouf added.