tags: , , Press Releases

As Speaker Johnson Calls for Mass Deportation, Advocates, and Lawmakers Call for Protections, Legal Pathways, and Balanced Immigration Approach

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Washington, DC – This week, Democratic lawmakers, immigration policy advocates, and directly impacted community members called on Congress and President Biden to lean in and take action to deliver progress on immigration through a balanced approach that connects with most Americans and contrasts with Republicans’ extremism.

According to Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice: 

The American public wants our broken immigration system to be addressed and they want our lawmakers to take a balanced approach that both maintains an orderly border and delivers relief and security for long-settled immigrant residents and the families, communities, and employers who rely on them. While the full scope of needed reforms can only take place through Congressional action blocked for decades by opponents of immigration, President Biden can nonetheless deliver steps forward through executive actions to advance both our values and interests. With the Speaker of the House now joining fellow Republicans in calling for rounding up and deporting tens of millions of immigrants with decades in this country, it is vitally important for the President to articulate his much different, more sensible and more popular approach to immigrants and immigration.” 

Among the developments and voices speaking out this week include:

  • A letter signed by 80 Democratic lawmakers urged President Biden to streamline legal pathways for undocumented immigrants:We urge your Administration to take all available actions to streamline pathways to lawful status for undocumented immigrants, providing certainty to the American businesses, communities, and families who rely on them … Deporting all such individuals—as former President Donald Trump has threatened to do if reelected —would devastate the American economy and destroy American families. Alternatively, streamlining pathways for undocumented immigrants with no criminal history and deep ties to the United States to obtain parole or a lawful immigration status would provide stability to their families, require them to pay taxes, and to check in with the U.S. government regularly.” 
  • A letter from 15 moderate House Democrats to President Biden called for executive action to support an orderly border in the face of Republicans’ political obstruction and reiterated support for both border security and a path to citizenship for long-time residents: “[T]his Congress had an opportunity to work together on a bipartisan basis to secure the border but House Speaker Mike Johnson has refused to bring that bill to us for debate because our House colleagues would rather see the crisis continue and use it as a campaign ad instead of actually addressing this national security issue. It is well past time for both parties to come together and agree on common-sense, bipartisan immigration reforms that both strengthen enforcement at the border and provide a path to citizenship for those who have been living, working, and paying taxes in the United States for many years … It has become clear that the current situation remains untenable, but with Republicans playing politics on border security, it is time for your administration to act.”
  • At a Capitol Hill press conference, Congressional Black Caucus members and the Congressional Haiti Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (FL-20),urged the Biden administration to quickly act on relief for Haiti. They were joined by Reps. Cori Bush (MO-01), Frederica Wilson (FL-24), Barbara Lee (CA-13) alongside leaders from the Haitian Bridge Alliance, National Haitian American Elected Officials Network, Florida Immigrant Coalition, and UndocuBlack Network to urge the Biden administration to quickly act on relief for Haiti. As Rep. Chrfilus-McCormick said, “Haiti is in a severe political crisis, and as the only Haitian-American in Congress, I urge immediate action. We need to redesignate TPS for Haiti and halt deportations now.” (Also see Gabe Ortiz’s recap of the Haiti-focused press conference and call to action – read here).
  • NBC News: “Dreamers urge protections in Senate hearing on immigrant youth: “An estimated 400,000 young people who would have been eligible to apply for DACA have been shut out of the program since 2021, when a federal judge decided to halt it for new registrants amid the ongoing legal challenges…Supporters of DACA say it’s one of the most successful policies for immigrant integration. Since DACA started in 2012, recipients have contributed $108 billion in wages to the economy, as well as $33 billion in combined taxes, according to FWD.us, a bipartisan group supporting immigration reform. Most DACA recipients are young adults who have lived in the U.S. for more than 16 years.” (Also see Gabe Ortiz’s recap of the powerful testimony on display from Dreamers and advocates at the hearing – read here).
  • NBC News: Democrats urge Biden to act on immigration as Trump threatens deportations”: “Immigration advocates and Democratic lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden to prioritize long-term undocumented immigrants as his administration weighs executive actions to curb record crossings along the southern border … The president of FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group, said in a statement that most Americans ‘don’t have the opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of American families — but President Biden does. He has the legal authority to provide affirmative relief to the spouses of U.S. citizens, and other longtime undocumented community members,’ Todd Schulte said. ‘We hope, and believe, he will act soon to protect these American families.’”