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African Immigrants Host First Summit

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African immigrants in Chicago say some provisions of the Senate immigration bill could be onerous for Africans. They say a rule that requires immigrants to return home in order to renew visas would be burdensome.

Alie Kabba heads the United African Organization. The group’s holding its first Chicago summit today.

Kabba says immigration reform is just one part of the day-long program, though. The group also wants to help Chicagoans understand their African immigrant neighbors.

“It’s easy to say these are Africans,” he says, “but the fact of the matter is a South African, and a Kenyan, and a Nigerian and a Ghanian and a Sierra Leonean and a Liberian have sometimes very very diverse cultural baggages.”

Kabba says U.S. refugee resettlement policy is also on the agenda at the summit. And he says the 300 participants will look at ways to improve relations with African-Americans, Caribbean immigrants and the Latino community.

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