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SPLC Action: Immigrant Communities Need Concrete Action

While today’s executive orders on the future of immigration policy reform are a welcome step, communities do not have the luxury of waiting longer for change

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden today plans to sign three new executive orders aimed at reforming the U.S. immigration system. The orders will reportedly create a family unification task force, begin to address the root causes of migration from Central America and restore U.S. asylum protections, and promote immigrant integration and inclusion. The following statement is from Kelli Garcia, federal policy counsel of the SPLC Action Fund.

“Today’s actions will certainly help create a more just, humane and functional immigration system. We are encouraged by the direction of the president’s actions thus far. 

“However, the Biden-Harris administration must also recognize that today’s orders will not immediately benefit immigrant communities in dire need of concrete action. 

“As President Biden signs these orders, some 20,000 migrants are languishing in dangerous conditions just south of the border because of the disastrous Migrant Protection Protocols, or MPP. Meanwhile, ICE is preparing another deportation flight of African asylum seekers, mere hours after deporting hundreds of people, including families and children, to Haiti and other countries. Communities need swift action from the White House and incoming DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. 

“The Biden-Harris administration must work with DHS to quickly end MPP, expulsions based on the misuse of Title 42, and the illegal practice of metering asylum seekers at the southern border, among other lawless and cruel policies. The Biden-Harris administration must also provide restitution to families who were separated at the border by the Trump administration. 

“While the long-term vision offered in these orders is admirable, the administration must recognize that its predecessors, in an effort to deter migration, embraced callous policies like family separation and MPP not in spite of the known harm it would cause but because of it. And those policies have inflicted enormous pain on countless men, women and children who need immediate relief and the opportunity to heal. Fortunately, communities and families, NGOs, and public health officials are ready to help the Biden-Harris administration end this chaos by welcoming, housing and supporting those in need.”

SPLC Action’s full immigration priorities can be found here