Where Are the Humane Policies Promised to Immigrant Communities?
(San Francisco, CA)—On this National Day of Action against detention, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) once again renews its call on the Biden Administration to make good on campaign promises to implement humane and compassionate policies such as ending collaboration with private companies running detention centers.
“We have been immensely disappointed in the Biden Administration’s policies regarding enforcement issues, which are disproportionately enforced in localities with more ICE detention bed space: where are the humane policies promised to immigrant communities during the campaign?” said Senior Staff Attorney Lena Graber. “We have seen the administration either ignore promises they made or go back on their word.”
“We also are disappointed by this administration’s inaction in the face of conservative state lawmakers enacting their own extremely harsh and unfair laws and policies to attack immigrants,” Graber added. “Our research has shown that there has been even more state legislative action that is hostile to immigrants this year than previously.”
The ILRC recently updated its state enforcement map that shows how some states are clear leaders in offering protections for their immigrant residents and residents of color who are disproportionately harmed by biased policing, imprisonment, and deportation. Meanwhile, many other states have sought to outlaw sanctuary policies or even force localities to help ICE deport their residents.
Tracking these laws shows that states are closely divided between protective laws (12 states with a combined population of 112 million people) and harmful laws (18 states with a combined population of 127 million people). Twenty-four states have not yet passed sanctuary or anti-sanctuary policies (with a combined population of 93 million people). More foreign born residents are impacted by states with protective laws (23 million people) versus states with harmful laws (14 million people), with 8 million people residing in states that have passed no laws on immigration.
“While conservative states have gotten only more hostile to immigrants, the Biden administration has continued working with them to deport people, expanded immigration detention and surveillance, and refused to fulfill its campaign promise to end the 287(g) program,” Graber said. “Just this week it was reported that migrant children were going to be detained at a facility in Pecos, Texas. This cruel and punitive approach to managing immigration is appalling.”
ILRC staff will be joining the National Day of Action organized by the Detention Watch Network by engaging online and joining rallies in person demanding Biden make true to his promise to reduce the federal government’s reliance on private detention facilities.
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is a national nonprofit that works with immigrants, community organizations, legal professionals, and policy makers to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people. Through community education programs, legal training & technical assistance, and policy development & advocacy, the ILRC works to protect and defend the fundamental rights of immigrant families and communities.