The National Immigration Law Center and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund Commend President Biden’s Actions to Improve the Lives of Immigrants

February 2, 2021

Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

The National Immigration Law Center and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund Commend President Biden’s Actions to Improve the Lives of Immigrants

WASHINGTON – President Biden is expected to sign several new immigration executive actions today, including one instructing federal agencies to review the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “public charge” rule and related policies. Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement:

“In his first days in office, President Biden has sent a clear signal that his administration sees immigrants as a strength to this country. The National Immigration Law Center celebrates the Biden administration’s policies that recognize the dignity of immigrants and their essential role in our communities. We applaud the president for moving quickly to begin undoing harms done by the previous administration while putting us on a path to a more immigrant-inclusive vision for America.

“President Biden is taking critical steps to end the harmful and racist wealth tests for immigrants, including the previous administration’s public charge regulations.

“These policies sought to redefine who we are as a country and who belongs here. Beginning to undo them is a necessary step toward reclaiming our position as a beacon of hope for people all around the world who seek safety and opportunity. It’s also key to our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has underscored how interdependent we all are, and immigrants have been at the forefront of the pandemic response, caring for the sick, harvesting our nation’s food, and keeping businesses running. The last administration’s dangerous policies sowed fear and confusion, preventing immigrants and their families from accessing critical health care, food, and financial relief at a time when it’s needed most.

“Over the last four years, the National Immigration Law Center worked alongside hundreds of partners across the country to fight back against these harmful policies. NILC founded and co-led the Protecting Immigrant Families campaign that resulted in more than 250,000 comments from the public opposing the DHS public charge regulation. NILC fought in court to block their implementation. And we worked with directly impacted communities to minimize the chilling effect of these policies.

“Today’s actions will also set in motion the critical work of reuniting children separated from their parents as a result of the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy. The Biden administration also is reestablishing the Task Force on New Americans, an important step towards creating a National Office of New Americans, which will be key to ensuring a whole-government approach to immigrant inclusion and equity.

“As we celebrate the reversal of harmful immigration policies, we urge Congress to also create a pathway to U.S. citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, including essential workers who have helped us survive during a global pandemic, who call our country home, and begin the work of living up to America’s promise.”

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