Immigrant Advocates Demand Expansive, Ambitious Immigration Reform, After Helping Secure Biden/Harris Victory

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New York: The New York Immigration Coalition led advocates in a celebration of Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris’ overwhelming sweep of New York State and their campaign’s victory in the 2020 elections. Across the country, immigrant communities and people of color helped take back the “blue wall” states of Pennsylvania and Michigan as well as flipping formerly deep-red states like Georgia. As they noted the historic victory, the New York Immigration Coalition reminded the Biden administration of their promises to immigrants and demanded they immediately prioritize a roll-back of Trump’s executive orders and actions and pursue a broad and bold series of reforms to the country’s immigration system.

“This year, immigration was on the ballot—and it won a resounding victory. Millions of Americans firmly repudiated Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda at the polls with a record-breaking turnout from immigrants and people of color and a show of force not seen in previous elections,” said Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, Interim Co-Executive Directors of NYIC Action. “Here in New York, NYIC Action mobilized thousands of immigrant citizen New Yorkers—many of them first-time voters—to vote for Vice President Biden, Senator Harris, and other Democratic Congressional and State candidates because they believe immigration is good for New York and good for America. Now, as we get ready to swear in a Democratic administration, we remind Vice President Biden and Senator Harris of their promises: to rescind the Muslim Ban, reinstate and expand DACA and TPS programs, as just a starting point to rebuilding our immigration system from the ground up. And to ensure that our new leadership priorities immigrant communities, we are launching a $3 million campaign with one goal: to ensure every single member of Congress in New York, with New York Senator Chuck Schumer leading the way, works to win immigration reform that will bring the justice and freedom—not only from Trump’s racist policies, but from our failed immigration system that has been broken for decades.”
“I am proud of the progress we have made to protect immigrants, despite the treacherous four years we have lived through under the leadership of this Administration,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn). “For the past four years, 45 has represented a direct threat to this community, as a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other individuals who share his bigoted and wicked ideology. But our community has not backed down—it’s not in our blood to do so. Immigrants and their children and grandchildren from every part of the world are not only the foundation of Brooklyn, but are the foundation of our great nation. As the child of immigrants, I have worked tirelessly in Congress to demonstrate a commitment to our immigrant brothers and sisters, by supporting comprehensive immigration reform.

In the first 100 days of his presidency, President Elect Biden has promised to roll-back 45’s xenophobic policies that have put the lives of our beloved immigrant community at risk. For instance, the Biden Administration will reverse the public charge rule, end the asylum policies, end refugee bans, support Dreamers, bring humanitarian aid to the border, end the National Emergency that allows federal dollars from the Department of Defense to build the U.S. and Mexico border wall, and more. The work continues, but now we have a partner in the White House who understands the need for us to focus on the people and not the corporations to get us beyond this dark chapter of white supremacy. This victory is a reaffirmation of our liberty and determination to maintain our precious democracy. The renewal of our commitment to the best traditions of this nation – instead of the worst – will come from us. Your voices will sound the alarm for a renewal of purpose, a restoration of faith in ourselves as a people who believe that every person should have an opportunity to participate in the American Dream.”

“For the last four years, immigrant communities have lived in fear of the Trump administration’s bigoted and hateful immigration policy” said Marwa Janini, Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York. “On January 20th, then-President Biden will have a responsibility to roll back the draconian policies enacted by the Trump administration. After four years of constant attacks, America’s immigrants deserve decisive action to protect the rights of ourselves and our communities. Healing the damage the Trump administration has done will take a long time, but doing this would be an incredible first step towards rebuilding immigrant’s trust in government and serve as the cornerstone of urgently needed immigration reform.”

“The immigrant community has been under attack these last 4 years but it has been the same community who lifted New York City up during this pandemic and sent a message across the country by kicking racism out of the White House,” said Yesenia Mata, Executive Director of La Colmena. “Now this president elect needs to stand by our immigrant community or else he will also be a one term president.”

“UnLocal is intensely relieved by the outcome of this country’s Presidential election,” said Rebecca Press, Legal Director, UnLocal Inc. “We fully expect the horrors inflicted on immigrant America over the last four years to come to an immediate and definitive end. Moving forward, we must imagine and then create a world in which no one is ever again imprisoned because of where they were born and no one ever again lives in fear of being separated from their families and communities because of their happenstance of birth. Anything less is simply a continuation of a system built to dehumanize and destroy communities.”

The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for more than 200 groups in New York State. We envision a New York state that is stronger because all people are welcome, treated fairly, and given the chance to pursue their dreams. Our mission is to unite immigrants, members, & allies so all New Yorkers can thrive. We represent the collective interests of New York’s diverse immigrant communities and organizations and devise solutions to advance them; advocate for laws, policies, and programs that lead to justice and opportunity for all immigrant groups; and build the power of immigrants and the organizations that serve them to ensure their sustainability, to improve people’s lives, and to strengthen our state.

About NYIC Action
NYIC Action (nyicaction.org) was originally formed in 2010 as a sister organization to the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), a 501(c)(3) coalition with 200 member organizations across New York State. In order to increase the political potency of the immigrant vote, Immigrant Action endorses candidates and elected officials who stand up for immigrant communities and against anti-immigrant opponents. Immigrant Action engages in targeted advocacy on specific immigrant-related issues such as legislative scorecards, pointed advocacy flyers highlighting individual elected officials’ stances, and intensive grassroots and direct lobbying of elected officials.

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