As Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas visits San Antonio today, American Gateways wanted to share these policy priorities for the Biden Administration’s consideration:
- Security and protection for our DREAMers: We hope that the final regulations for DACA will be released soon so as to provide DREAMERs with this temporary protection. While comprehensive reform that includes a pathway to permanent residence and citizenship is what we hope will eventually become a reality for DREAMers and their families, we look forward to the administration’s final rule which will allow many more eligible DREAMers who have been living in limbo to have some protection and ability to work in the U.S.
- Federal funding for immigration legal services: We urge the Biden Administration to provide legal representation to all immigrants, which ensures fairness in the immigration process for all, regardless of ability to pay. Universal legal representation strengthens our democracy, guarantees due process rights, and ensures a more equitable process. Without adequate representation, many who have the right to remain in the U.S. are often deported and separated from their families and homes.
- Decrease the use of immigration detention: Immigration detention is a profit driven practice that dehumanizes those seeking a better life. Detention is expensive, inefficient, and inhumane. We would urge the administration to consider alternatives to detention that would allow immigrants to remain in communities and with their families while moving forward with their immigration cases.
- Additional resources for the implementation of the new Interim Asylum Rule: We appreciate the administration’s work to try and reduce backlogs in the asylum system with the new Interim Asylum Rule. We hope that the additional resources are made available not only to the asylum offices but also to those providers working to ensure that immigrants going through this new process understand it and have representation.
“As a longtime provider of free and low-cost legal services to immigrants and refugees in Texas, American Gateways is on the ground meeting with people who interact with the Department of Homeland Security,” said Edna Yang, co-Executive Director of American Gateways. “It’s critical that we make federal policies better align with the needs of people fleeing persecution and working to make a better life for themselves and their new communities.”
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