National Immigration Law Center Statement on President Biden’s First Joint Session Speech to Congress

April 28, 2021

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

National Immigration Law Center Statement on President Biden’s First Joint Session Speech to Congress

WASHINGTON — President Biden today delivered his first speech before a joint session of Congress. In his speech, Biden renewed his call to Congress to pass legislation this year to reform the U.S. immigration system.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“In his first 100 days in office, President Biden has sent a clear signal that our country is ready to chart a new course on immigration. We were heartened to hear the president reiterate that commitment tonight before both chambers of Congress and millions of Americans watching at home, and we urge Congress to meet President Biden’s words of encouragement with courageous, bold action.

“Immigrants are essential to our nation. President Biden’s ability to follow through on the vision he put forth for immigrants will determine whether he will make history not only by undoing the harms of the previous administration but by creating a transformational immigration system that will impact millions of immigrants, their families and loved ones, their communities, and our country as a whole.

“We expect President Biden and Democrats who currently wield the levers of power to deliver on his promises to enact a 21st century immigration system that reflects the values we aspire to as a nation and our role as a global leader. We cannot  let the tired Republican playbook get in the way of long-overdue action on immigration.

“These times call for moral imagination and courageous leadership. Immigration is one of the defining issues of our time, yet politicians have spent more than 30 years talking and not taking action on much-needed reforms. President Biden must lean into this moment when there is broad public support for bold solutions for the 11 million undocumented immigrants who call the U.S. home and who urgently need a pathway to U.S. citizenship. That includes immigrant youth who grew up here, long-time residents with temporary protections, and millions of essential workers helping us get through the pandemic.

“We must take every opportunity available to provide them all a pathway to citizenship as part of our efforts to set our country on a path to a just recovery that lifts us all. There is no recovery without immigrants.”