IDP Praises Relief for Immigrants, Urges Biden Administration to Minimize “Double Punishment” for Successful Implementation

June 20, 2024

IDP Praises Relief for Immigrants, Urges Biden Administration to Minimize “Double Punishment” for Successful Implementation  

NEW YORK– The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) appreciates the incredible significance of President Biden’s announcement of executive action to bring relief to hundreds of thousands of people living in fear of deportation: specifically, qualifying undocumented spouses of U.S. citizens and some young people, with the ability to apply for “parole in place” and eventually get permanent residency. This action comes only as a result of the tireless, determined organizing of directly affected families and communities across the country.

At the same time, the exclusions already previewed in the DHS fact sheet will be unacceptable if they use criminal legal system contacts and history to disqualify people from relief. We know from our work that such disqualifications disproportionately harm Black immigrants and immigrants of color who have been targeted by the racist criminal legal system. Our leaders must recognize the systemic racism inherent in who is arrested and convicted.

The following is a statement from IDP Executive Director Marie Mark: 

“While the full details of the plan are being finalized, we urge the Biden Administration to make every conceivable effort to minimize the double punishment of immigrants in order to keep loved ones and communities together.

“The barriers to lawful status cause relentless harm to undocumented people and their loved ones who live in fear of being torn apart by the cruel U.S. detention and deportation system. Immigration policies that rely on the criminal legal system to limit protection from deportation are unfair. This imports the systemic racism embedded in policing and the criminal legal system into determinations of which families get torn apart. To stay silent about these exclusions is to stay silent about the heartbreak of Black immigrants and immigrants of color and their loved ones.

“We also urge the administration to take steps to safeguard the information provided by all people who step forward– including those with criminal legal system contact– against targeting by ICE for arrest in the future. Sensible safeguards will help ensure successful implementation of the program in a time of profound uncertainty and fear.” 


About the Immigrant Defense Project
The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) is a New York-based nonprofit that works to secure fairness and justice for immigrants in the racially-biased U.S. criminal and immigration systems. IDP fights to end the current era of unprecedented mass criminalization, detention and deportation through a multi-pronged strategy including advocacy, litigation, legal support, community partnerships, and strategic communications. Visit and follow @ImmDefense.