The Immigrant Community Needs Biden to be Bolder 

(San Francisco, CA)—The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) welcomes President Biden’s executive order directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) not to renew its contracts with privately-run prison operators as an important step in tackling mass incarceration in the United States. However, the ILRC is disappointed that this order did not extend to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities. Private facilities make up the majority of immigration detention and profiting from the incarceration of Black and Brown bodies iunacceptable when contracting with ICE, as well as DOJ. Biden must take steps to end detention in all its forms.

The ILRC also demands that the Biden Administration respond forcefully to shut down frivolous obstructionist lawsuits, such as the one filed by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton challenging the 100-day moratorium on deportations. DOJ must immediately appeal the unjustified restraining order issued this week. This lawsuit shows that the Texas state government has abdicated its responsibility to work for its people and is more intent on promoting xenophobic attacks on immigrants than actually governing. 

“President Biden must throw out the Obama Administration’s flawed playbook on immigration and come up with one that shows he is not afraid to stand up to Trump loyalists hellbent on destroying the lives of immigrants,” said ILRC Supervising Attorney Grisel Ruiz. “If Biden wants to demonstrate a serious commitment to racial equity and make good on his campaign promises, then he must stop private prisons from collaborating with ICE to run detention facilities where medical neglect is rampant and has resulted in devastating COVID-19 outbreaks across the country. 

Four years of vehemently anti-immigrant policies from the Trump Administration do not give President Biden any leeway to be anything less than fierce when it comes to protecting the immigrant community,” Ruiz added. “The Trump administration’s immigrant agenda was fueled by anti-Blackness and xenophobia and was overwhelmingly rejected by the American public and the courts. This moment calls for visionary policies and legislation that are inclusive and affirm the humanity of every community member.” 

The ILRC has issued this Blueprint for the Next Administration to help lay out a plan that dismantles dysfunctional immigration policies and offers solutions that meet the needs of immigrant communities.