January 21, 2021
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Lauds Inauguration Day Actions on Immigration by New Biden Administration and Calls for a Comprehensive Moratorium on Deportations
Washington, D.C. — After tireless advocacy of immigrant communities and advocates, President Biden today fulfilled several campaign promises by sending an immigration bill to Congress and issuing executive orders and memoranda on immigration-related actions. The immigration bill provides a path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants and includes the Reuniting Families Act to modernize our immigration system and the No Ban Act — both priority bills for Asian Americans Advancing Justice and authored by Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair, Rep. Judy Chu.
The executive orders include rescinding the Muslim and African Bans, a reinstatement of the DACA program a repeal of the previous administration’s interior enforcement executive order, a 100-day pause on most deportations, and an extension of protections for Liberians. What is missing in today’s executive actions is needed relief for the 15,000 Southeast Asian refugees with final orders of removal.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, an affiliation of five independent Asian American civil rights organizations, releases the following statement:
“Today is historic in many ways. We congratulate and celebrate the 46th President Joseph R. Biden and the first woman, Asian American, and Black Vice President in U.S. history, Kamala Harris.
Advancing Justice applauds President Biden’s swift actions on immigration, which begin to undo the white supremacist and xenophobic policies of the former administration. Today’s announcement is a significant step toward healing the damage of the Trump Administration’s cruel and unjust immigration policy.
But our immigrant communities need more than a return to the status quo. We are calling on the Biden Administration to issue a comprehensive moratorium on deportations, including for our incarcerated communities, an end to immigrant detention, and a fairer, more humane system.
Today provides much-needed relief for our communities, which no longer have to live under the discriminatory Muslim Ban or the threat of DACA termination. President Biden’s bold immigration legislation aims to provide a path to citizenship for undocumented people, offering relief to our loved ones, neighbors, and allies, including the workers who have been in essential jobs long before the pandemic highlighted how essential they truly are to our communities and to our country. It’s time for Congress to pass legislation that creates a roadmap to citizenship for every immigrant who calls this country home – without tradeoffs on enforcement or family sponsorship.
Through our work in the Value Our Families campaign, we advocated for and achieved the inclusion of Rep. Judy Chu’s Reuniting Families Act, which reforms and modernizes our family-based immigration system, centers family unity in immigration, and offers relief for families and others threatened by the enforcement system. President Biden’s bill also includes the No Ban Act, which will ensure that a racist ban cannot be promulgated in the future.
Finally, we thank all of the directly impacted community members, organizers, and advocates whose fight to defend the rights and dignity of immigrants began much longer than four years ago. We also remember the victims of human rights abuses perpetrated in the name of the United States.
Today is a win for our communities, but it is only the beginning. Advancing Justice is committed to continuing our fight against white supremacy, and our work to assist the most vulnerable immigrants in our communities, including those with criminal convictions. It’s time to make the United States a nation where “we the people” includes all of us, no matter our race, birthplace, age, religion, ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Working together, we will advance justice for our communities.”
About Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Asian Americans Advancing Justice is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. The affiliation’s members are: Advancing Justice | AAJC (Washington, DC), Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus (San Francisco), Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, Advancing Justice – Atlanta, and Advancing Justice – Chicago.