Statement from Vera President Nicholas Turner on President Biden’s Immigration Bill and Executive Orders

President Biden’s Day One immigration bill and executive orders are an important step toward an immigration system that centers fairness, equity, human dignity, and the needs of communities across the United States. This progress results from years of collective organizing and activism while fighting relentless attacks on the rights and safety of immigrant communities. The Vera Institute of Justice commends the Biden-Harris Administration for beginning to dismantle harmful anti-immigrant policies, including a moratorium on deportations; creating a pathway to permanent legal status for millions of immigrants; and prioritizing the reunification of families separated at the border.

However, this proposal falls short of fully transforming our inequitable and punitive immigration system. To advance the administration’s commitment to deliver immigration reform that ensures due process and fairness, Vera urges the Biden-Harris Administration to:

  • expand federal funding for legal defense so that all immigrants facing deportation are afforded counsel;
  • end the criminalization-to-deportation pipeline that disproportionately targets and funnels Black and other immigrants of color into the deportation system; 
  • urgently decarcerate detention centers and end the costly and dangerous immigrant detention system; and
  • transform the immigration adjudicatory system to root out bias, racism, and anti-Blackness and to ensure the independence of immigration judges

The Administration and Congress have a historic opportunity to achieve transformative and inclusive reforms that center fairness and humanity in our immigration system.  We look forward to working in partnership to deliver on the promise of justice for immigrant communities.  

About the Vera Institute of Justice:

The Vera Institute of Justice is a justice reform change agent. Vera produces ideas, analysis, and research that inspire change in the systems people rely upon for safety and justice. Vera collaborates with the communities most impacted by these systems and works in close partnership with government and civic leaders to implement change. Across projects, Vera is committed to explicitly and effectively reducing the burdens of the justice system on people of color and frames all work with an understanding of our country’s history of racial oppression. Vera is currently pursuing core priorities of ending the misuse of jails, transforming conditions of confinement, providing legal services for immigrants, and ensuring that justice systems more effectively serve America’s increasingly diverse communities. Vera has offices in Brooklyn, NY; Washington, DC; New Orleans, and Los Angeles.

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