ACLU Statement on President-Elect Biden’s Day One Immigration Policies

January 20, 2021 10:15 am

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WASHINGTON — President-elect Biden this morning released fact sheets on his executive actions and day one bill on immigration that announced several immigration policies, including the:

  • Rescission of the Muslim ban, which targeted African countries;
  • Extension of Deferred Enforcement Departure for Liberians;
  • Revocation of recent interior enforcement policies;
  • Recommitment to DACA;
  • Termination of border wall construction; and
  • Proposed immigration legislation with an inclusive pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented Americans, so that people may build futures here.

The following is a statement from Manar Waheed, legislative policy counsel for the ACLU:

“The tireless commitment and drive of immigrant communities and immigrants’ rights advocates deserves accolades today for these hard earned victories. These are welcome first steps after four brutal years of attacks on Black and Brown people. But much more needs to be done. The incoming administration is inheriting the horrific policies and legacy of the Trump administration, and it must sharply, swiftly, and completely reverse course and begin to move us forward.

“The day one rescission of the Muslim ban explicitly targeting Africans is a victory for communities, but much more is required to help those who have been impacted. It is critical that the administration provide justice by restoring lost diversity visas, waiving fees for those who were denied, and expediting processing, among other necessities. Every policy and regulation issued as a part of these bans must also be rescinded along with every executive order that Trump issued abusing that authority, such as the asylum, health care restriction, and the COVID-related bans not based in science.

“The Biden-Harris administration must fulfill its commitment to a deportation moratorium by ensuring that people are not unjustly deported starting today. While revoking Trump’s interior enforcement executive order is a welcome first step, the new administration must also dismantle Immigration and Custom Enforcement's tools of racial profiling and abuse — including the 287(g) program. Further, the new administration must close immigration detention facilities and release people from detention, particularly given the record number of deaths, increased use of force, repeated sexual abuse, inadequate COVID-19 protections, and coercive sterilization in these facilities in recent years.

“We also await the administration’s action to address the fate of people seeking asylum, which requires a swift repeal of the Trump administration’s cruel policies and an immediate start to safely processing people seeking protection at the border, who have long been denied due process. The Biden administration must also reunite families forcibly separated in the United States, but we cannot stop there. These families deserve citizenship, resources, care, and a commitment that family separation will never happen again.

“We are relieved to see President-elect Biden acting swiftly on his first day in office, and we hope to see these additional bold reforms in the upcoming days. The signature of the Trump administration was cruelty towards immigrants and people of color writ large. In order to end this chapter and bring about true justice for immigrants, the Biden-Harris administration will have to continue to act deliberately and aggressively — people deserve to feel safe, today.”

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