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Campaign Updates

01/20/2021 | Building an Immigrant Justice Initiative

Center for Popular Democracy Network Statement on Proposed Immigration Relief Policies

Ana Maria Archila, Co-Executive Director of Center for Popular Democracy Issued this Statement following the announcement a set of immigration policies and proposals from the Biden Administration

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Center for Popular Democracy


New York, NY — After four years of enduring relentless attacks by the Trump administration, today, on his first day in office, President Biden will sign several executive orders reversing some of the most harmful policies enacted by Trump and plans to unveil legislation that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants. 

Today’s announcements represent a victory for immigrant families and communities. For the last four years, immigrants organized to resist Trump’s attacks, and helped pave the way for President Biden’s victory — all while disproportionately serving as essential workers critical to the COVID-19 response and being overwhelmingly shut out of government relief programs.

We welcome many of the proposed Biden-Harris administration’s immigration policies as necessary first steps in reversing the former administration’s worst harms and outlining a roadmap to a just and humane immigration system and a pathway to citizenship for all. 

As we welcome these new policies, we must not lose sight of the decades-long punishment-only approach to immigration our communities have endured — being subjected to SWAT-like ICE raids, mass detention and border militarization, all while being denied a pathway to citizenship. We look forward to working with the administration and Congress to address these harms and transform our ineffective and inhumane immigration enforcement system from one focused on punishment to one focused on facilitating compliance and safeguarding dignity. 

We applaud the proposed immediate rescission of the Muslim and African Bans, along with the inclusion of the No Ban Act in the legislation. We also applaud the announcement of critical executive actions, including: the preservation and fortification of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, the rescission of the order to exclude noncitizens from the census and apportionment count, the creation of the Family Reunification Taskforce, the halting of border wall construction, the restoration of the refugee admissions program and Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians and the mandate to conduct a comprehensive review of all immigration-related regulations implemented in the last four years.

We also applaud many aspects of the proposed legislation, including: the pathway to citizenship, the clearing of family-based immigration backlogs, the addition of permanent partner to family-based immigration, the increase in diversity visas, the guarantee of legal representation for children and other vulnerable populations facing removal and the elimination of the dehumanizing term “alien” from the law.

A swift and inclusive pathway to citizenship and the transformation of our immigration system is not only the right thing to do, but also necessary to ensure that the United States can emerge from the COVID-19 public health and economic crises. An estimated five million undocumented immigrants are essential workers. Meanwhile, undocumented immigrants — and many immigrants with lawful status — have been shut out of government relief programs and afraid to seek out healthcare out of fear of negative immigration consequences.  

The time is now for the Biden-Harris administration and Congress to take bold, transformative action to achieve immigrant justice. While this happens, we call on the Biden administration to act swiftly to enact a moratorium on ICE arrests and deportations — without carve outs — to provide a respite from the harms that detentions and deportations cause immigrant communities. 

The Center for Popular Democracy and its network are committed to working with the administration to achieve these changes to ensure that our communities are given the dignity and respect we deserve.


The Center for Popular Democracy is a national network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.