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Immigrant Advocates Speak Out on the Week’s Immigration News

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You can listen to a recording of the call here


In Friday “Office Hours,” experts and advocates discussed recent asylum, refugee and immigration policy developments – the end of Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) , the dedicated docket plan by the Biden administration, and the need to end Title 42; the upcoming 9th anniversary of DACA on June 15th and the building pressure to make DACA permanent; the need to airlift Afghans who served with U.S. forces to safety and resettlement in America; the ploy by Texas Governor Greg Abbott to use kids as pawns in a political game; the need for Democrats to go big and pass legislation that legalizes millions without letting bad faith Republicans delay and obstruct such a breakthrough; and the importance of Vice President Kamala Harris’s trip to Mexico and Central America to address the root causes of Central American migration. 

Karen Musalo, Professor and Founding Director, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, UC Hastings: “The formal termination of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) is a positive step forward, but it does not go far enough. We need to ensure every asylum seeker adversely impacted by MPP has a fair opportunity to pursue their claims for protection. Of even greater concern is the Biden administration’s refusal to end Title 42, which has blocked virtually all asylum seekers from seeking safety in the U.S. Until Title 42 is rescinded, the U.S. will continue to be in blatant violation of its domestic and international legal obligations. Finally, as the administration ramps up processing of asylum claims, we urge it to reject measures that rush cases, which deny due process and result in flawed decision-making. We can and should do better as we rebuild our system.”

Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President & CEO, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service: “At this moment, the future of a generation of Afghans who believed in and worked alongside the U.S. government is at risk. Because they had our backs, they now have a target on theirs. As the U.S. imminently departs Afghanistan, we must commit to providing refuge to wartime allies who committed themselves to our cause. We urge the White House to undertake an emergency evacuation of our allies and their families ahead of U.S. withdrawal. 

Juliana Macedo do Nascimento, Senior Advocacy Manager, United We Dream: “For young immigrants and immigrant families in our communities, the upcoming weeks carry a lot of weight, uncertainty, and fear. As many of you are aware, a case in Texas is attempting to end DACA. Even under an administration that is vocal about protecting the rights of immigrants, our circumstances are precarious. People like our members and myself are at constant risk of losing our protection. Democrats in congress cannot allow Republicans to hold relief hostage as the lives of millions in our community are put on the line. By adding citizenship to the American Jobs Package and passing this package through budget reconciliation, Democrats can avoid the filibuster and deliver citizenship to millions now.”

Sergio Gonzales, Executive Director,  The Immigration Hub: “Citizenship is one of the defining issues of 2021, and undocumented immigrants have been waiting for over three decades for this to get done. There is overwhelming support from Americans across the political spectrum, including very high support among Latinos. This is something that is going to matter to Latinos and all voters at the ballot box in midterms and in 2024. But despite the popularity of these proposals, this still hasn’t been done. Why? It is because Republicans continue to do what they’ve done for decades on these issues, which is delay, obstruct, and use immigration as a wedge issue rather than fix what  is broken. Regardless, Democrats must ensure citizenship is enacted this year. Too many lives are at stake.”