LIRS Statement on the Biden administration's first year on immigration
January 19, 2022
Washington D.C. – Over the Biden administration’s first year in office, it has sought to incorporate numerous reforms to immigration policy in its stated goal to implement a fair, efficient, and humane immigration system. However, there remain significant questions as to the impact of its actions as a whole.
The following is a statement by Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, President and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, the nation’s largest faith-based nonprofit dedicated exclusively to serving refugees, asylum seekers, and other vulnerable immigrant groups:
“It was never going to be a simple undertaking to mitigate the damage of its predecessor. One year into the Biden administration, an honest assessment recognizes both progress and promises unfulfilled.
We are grateful for President Biden’s repeal of the Muslim ban, for expanding programs to welcome Afghan evacuees, for reunited migrant families, and for good-faith efforts to protect DACA recipients and other vulnerable individuals from detention and deportation.
Unfortunately, the same Trump-era policies that subjected asylum-seekers to dangerous conditions and hasty expulsions without due process remain devastatingly in effect. There is simply no substantive reason that we cannot process and welcome these individuals and families in accordance with our obligations under U.S. and international law.
The Biden administration must recognize the urgency of this moment. Migrants in desperate need of protection should not be forced to suffer yet another year of Title 42 and ‘Remain in Mexico.’ Refugee families who have waited years for stability should not face yet another year of historically low admissions. Vulnerable asylum-seekers should not be detained yet another year by private prison companies profiteering to the tune of billions of taxpayer dollars.
We urge the Biden administration to make 2022 the year it delivers on its promises to rebuild and reimagine a fair, efficient, and humane immigration system.”