Dismantling Trump Legacy on Immigration and Transforming System Requires Action on Day 1 of Biden Administration

New York, NY—Citing the Democratic Party’s majority control in Congress, the New York Immigration Coalition, advocates, New Yorkers, and policy experts called for the Biden administration to keep their promise to restore humanity to our immigration system within the first 100 days in office. In a far-reaching conversation led by the NYIC, speakers delved into the enormous task of undoing President Trump’s broad administrative changes to the immigration system and why success will hinge on swift action by President-elect Biden. As a first step, the NYIC and partners are calling for the incoming President to immediately:

  • Rescind the Muslim Ban and other travel bans, and immediately restore the U.S. refugee program.

  • Issue an immediate moratorium on all immigration enforcement, including deportations, detentions and arrests.

  • Reinstate and expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) programs.

  • Create a broad and expansive road to citizenship for 11 million people.

“In just four years, Trump and Stephen Miller managed to twist the country’s immigration system to fit their divisive, bigoted agenda,” said Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, Interim Co-Executive Directors of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Dismantling their legacy must begin on day one of President-elect Biden’s administration. But that will not be enough to undo the damage caused by the systemic inequities built into America's immigration system. True and meaningful transformation will require more than a return to the status quo.

Immigrant and BIPOC voters turned out in record numbers to vote for the change promised by the newly elected leaders. Now, we expect these leaders to make good on their commitments to rescind the Muslim Ban and reinstate and expand DACA and TPS, as just a starting point to rebuilding our immigration system from the ground up. Our sister organization, NYIC Action, is ready to meet the moment by launching a bold and unprecedented $1 million campaign with one goal: to ensure every single member of Congress in New York, with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer leading the way, implements immigration reform that will bring justice and freedom to 4.4 million immigrant New Yorkers.” 

“With a new presidential administration and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, now is the time for a fundamental overhaul of the immigration system to create one that recognizes the humanity of all people and that upholds the values of equal justice and due process for all,” said Nyasa Hickey, Director of Immigration Initiatives at Brooklyn Defender Services. “To truly address the harm of the deportation machine, this new government must go further than simply addressing the Trump administration’s human rights violations against immigrants over the last four years. We need to move beyond simplistic and false narratives pitting ‘good’ immigrants against ‘bad’ immigrants and instead recognize the humanity of all people, their value as family and community members, and their contributions to U.S. society. This new administration can and should implement an immediate moratorium on enforcement and deportation and drastically slash ICE/DHS budgets; end the use of immigration detention; provide universal access to counsel for immigrants facing deportation; and disentangle the criminal legal system from the immigration legal system. ”

"Ending the repugnant discriminatory immigration policies targeting Muslims and people of color must be realized immediately," said Afaf Nasher, Executive Director of CAIR-NY. "This requires that President-elect Biden and his administration live up to the promise to repeal the Muslim and African Bans, and work with Congress to adopt the No Ban Act.  Other policies falsely predicated on the narrative of "extreme vetting" such as the Visa Waiver Program must also be repealed. There is much work to be done, and Americans from all walks of life are raising their voice in unison, demanding just treatment of immigrants, and accountability if demands are not delivered swiftly."

"The Democrats' failure to pass immigration reform when they best had a chance in 2009 has led to a decade of suffering in our communities. Hundreds of thousands of families have been separated, children have been put in cages, and millions are living through a historic pandemic with no support," said Manuel Castro executive director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). "Our community is sick and tired of the excuses and delays when it comes to immigration reform. So we expect the Biden administration to be ready on day 1 to introduce immigration reform legislation that is inclusive of all immigrants suffering through this pandemic. No arbitrary requirements. No one left out."