Biden Administration Must Take Executive Action on Immigration

Biden Administration Must Take Executive Action on Immigration

Dallas, TX USA – April 9, 2017: American Flags Waved During Immigration Reform March. (Shutterstock)

(Washington)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is calling on President Biden to use executive action to enact bold policy solutions on immigration. Specifically, the ILRC is demanding action to ensure immigration benefits are more equitable and accessible, and that the work to dismantle the enforcement, detention and surveillance systems is begun.

The ILRC credits the administration for taking steps to undo previous efforts to transform the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) into an enforcement agency. These efforts have begun to turn the agency back to its intended mission of fairly adjudicating immigration benefits. Positive changes include: the revised USCIS mission statement; automatic extension of certain work authorizations; updates to the USCIS policy manual; deferred action programs for U Visa and Special Immigrant Juvenile status applicants; new travel policies for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders; improved good moral character guidance for naturalization; new guidance on naturalization for applicants with disabilities; updates to USCIS forms; and extension of COVID flexibilities.

“However, there is still more work to do, and we renew our call to President Biden to seize the opportunity that remains in the final two years of his term to enact bold policy solutions guided by values that uphold the dignity of all immigrants and bring us closer to becoming the country we promise to be,” said ILRC Policy Director Sameera Hafiz.

Among our demands in A Platform for Immigrant Justice: Executive Action the Biden Administration Must Enact are:

  • Commitments from the Biden administration to make concrete and positive changes within USCIS to eliminate unfair adjudications, processing backlogs, and burdensome and unnecessary fees in the immigration process
  • Ending immigration arrests, detentions, and deportations
    • Separating immigration from the criminal legal system
    • End all 287(g) programs
    • End the Secure Communities program
    • End the use of surveillance and data sharing
    • End all partnerships involved with Texas’s Operation Lone Star scheme
    • End all contracts with private prison companies
    • Take steps to address the disproportionate impact of drug law enforcement on immigrant communities
      • Clarify and expand Presidential proclamation on cannabis pardons
      • Deschedule cannabis
      • Clarify that state remedies eliminate immigration consequences
      • End deportation charges for cannabis-related offenses
      • Overturn ALL harmful decisions issued under the Trump administration

“Our communities will continue to fight for dignity and to realize the solutions we need.  We ask for President Biden’s leadership in taking these executive actions and join us in forging a new way forward,” Hafiz said.

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