First Year of Biden-Harris Administration: A failure to make bold needed changes to immigration policies

WASHINGTON - The first year of the Biden-Harris Administration has been a marked failure on making bold and needed changes to immigration policies; instead the administration has trotted out failed tactics from previous administrations. The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) urgently demands that the administration start its second year afresh by rejecting the racism which underlies our current immigration system and moving toward immigration policies rooted in racial justice. 

The Biden-Harris Administration has taken no action on several Trump policies that remain in effect and they have been extremely ineffective at stopping anti-immigrant governors like Texas’s Greg Abbott from instituting racist and hateful policies against communities of color and immigrants,” said ILRC Policy Director Sameera Hafiz. “We cannot continue down this path of timid leadership. The ILRC has compiled this brief summary on the administration’s disappointing failures on immigration enforcement."

 “There are no excuses for failed campaign promises with Democrats in control of the House, Senate and White House at the moment,” Hafiz said. “With important midterm elections in a few months, the administration must act now to make good on campaign promises.” 

The ILRC urges the administration to do the following: 

  • Disentangle the immigration systems reliance on criminal legal system contact, including ending all immigration enforcement programs such as 287(g) and Secure Communities; Push for immigration laws that are inclusive of all immigrants and contain no criminal bar carve-outs 
  • Close all detention centers, expand the President’s order against using private prisons to include Department of Homeland Security (DHS) contracts and abandon lawsuits challenging state legislation, such as California’s AB 32, which seeks to end immigration detention 
  • Limit unfettered discretion given to ICE agents to pursue enforcement actions 
  • End collaboration with Texas’s Operation Lone Star and keep these hateful policies from being replicated in other states
  • Reunite families separated at the border and stop criminalizing and prosecuting migrationReunite families separated at the border and stop prosecuting migration
  • End Title 42 and MPP 
  • Ensure asylum policies are aligned with the standards of immigration law and end the racially-biased treatment of Haitian asylum seekers 
  • Push for legislation that grants immigration relief to our country’s undocumented communities and ensure this legislation is broad and inclusive. 
  • Generously grant stays of removal and reduce deportations
  • Reduce backlogs of processing all benefits applications with a focus on employment authorization documents 
  • Restore and improve the asylum and refugee resettlment system 

“The ILRC will continue to push the administration to be much more courageous in its immigration policies so the second year is not another failure,” Hafiz said.