IDP Statement on President Biden’s Executive Orders

February 2, 2021

As we awaken from the nightmare of Trump’s presidency, we are relieved to see President Biden responding to years of organizing against the racism and xenophobia that has fueled immigration policing, detention and deportation over the last four years. 

President Biden’s executive orders on immigration represent an important acknowledgment that the current immigration system’s policies and practices have caused great harm and instability for too many.  We welcomed the deportation moratorium as an important stop gap for people facing imminent deportation and condemned the federal court block of the moratorium. However, ICE continues to threaten our community members, like Javier Maradiaga of the Bronx, and continues to schedule deportation flights to Haiti and other countries. 

As an organization that is dedicated to protecting and expanding the rights of immigrants who have had contact with a racially-discriminatory policing system and an overly punitive criminal legal system, we are mindful that the true test of the administration’s commitment to immigrants and to racial justice will be in the permanent policies and priorities it adopts, and the legislation it chooses to support. And the ultimate impact of President Biden’s policies will be in the fine print, where carve outs that demonize and exclude our communities are so often found. 

Over the coming days and weeks, the Immigrant Defense Project will be working hard to analyze and interpret the impact of executive actions and proposed legislation. We will use our experience interpreting the intersection of criminal and immigration law and monitoring ICE policing tactics and trends to understand the practical impact of the changes. Through our hotline, the Padilla Support Center, and our community defense team, IDP will provide in-depth analysis, support and advice on immigration reforms to impacted individuals and their loved ones, attorneys, and advocates. IDP will also hold virtual briefings and create public resources to help our communities make sense of the many changes from Washington, D.C. 

IDP also continues to fight for transformation of the immigration system by building support for the New Way Forward Act and supporting the visionary BREATHE Act, which would both take critical steps to stop the criminalization of immigrant communities. 

We look forward to working with all of you to push forward a transformation of our immigration and criminal legal systems that recognizes that no person is disposable. 

With hope and solidarity,


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