New Deportation Memo Will Continue to Target Immigrant Communities

For immediate release: October 1, 2021
Contact: Arianna Rosales,; Jon Rodney,

2021.10.1 — In response to the Department of Homeland Security memo, the Immigrant Justice Network issued the following statement. 

President Biden came to office promising to change course on immigration policy, but the new Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo continues to rely on flawed narratives of “public safety,” “national security,” and “border security” that lead to increased detention and deportation. 

We recognize the absence of bright line exclusions is the result of years of organizing and advocacy by organizations who have uplifted the devastation caused by crim-imm provisions. However, while these new deportation priorities move away from categorical exclusions, they continue to permit immigration officials to have dangerous, broad discretion in choosing whom to arrest, detain and deport, leaving the door open to the targeting of Black and brown immigrants.

As a leading advocacy voice against the criminalization of immigrants, the Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) demands that DHS end the racist criminal legal system as a metric to determine who should be detained or deported. We’ve seen similar “enforcement priorities” in the past that have led to human rights abuses, increased policing, and family separation. It is extremely disappointing to witness the Biden-Harris administration backtracking on campaign promises and repackaging the harmful policies used by previous administrations.

Just days ago, the nation witnessed the brutalization of Haitian migrants by Border Patrol. While the administration expressed “outrage,” its words are further hollowed by this memo, which labels people who recently arrived in the United States or are apprehended at the border as “threats to border security.” These false labels perpetuate the cruel and inhumane treatment of migrants at the border. 

Detention numbers have skyrocketed under the Biden administration, this memo will likely only help to continue this trend. 


 Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) members include Families for Freedom, Grassroots Leadership, the Immigrant Defense Project, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Just Futures Law, the National Immigrant Project of the National Lawyers Guild, Puente Human Rights Movement, Southeast Asia Resource Action Center, and the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network. 

Immigrant Justice Network Calls on Next Administration to Forge a New Way Forward Toward Dignity and Justice

In response to the 2020 election results, the Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) released the following statement: 

With a new administration officially set to take office in January 2021, we acknowledge the opportunity for our country to build and move forward. 

From the uprisings for Black lives to the contentious election, this year has reminded us that the fight against white supremacy, structural racism, and criminalization in this country has a long way to go. To begin to transform our country, the next administration cannot simply restore the status quo that existed before Trump was elected.


Criminalization During COVID-19

As COVID-19 continues to claim lives, it has become clearer than ever that we are only as healthy as the most vulnerable members of our community. We need a collective commitment across our society to stay at home, and save as many lives as possible. And for this approach to succeed, we need to take care of each other and make sure all people have adequate support to survive this crisis.


Immigrant Justice Network Condemns Trump, Tucker Carlson’s Racist Fear Mongering Against New Way Forward Act

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Tucker Carlson aired a 14 minute segment on the New Way Forward Act, a groundbreaking piece of federal legislation which challenges racial profiling and mass incarceration in the immigration system. To instill fear about the visionary measure, the host spewed a false, harmful, and racist narrative about our immigrant neighbors.


Immigrants with a criminal past may soon have a ‘New Way Forward’ to stay in the US

Source: Sacramento Bee

Cuong Nguyen, a Vietnamese refugee who arrived in the U.S. at age 11, agreed to deliver drugs after finding out that his father owed a large sum of money when he was in his early 20s.

He was charged in 2006 and served a 24-month sentence. But Nguyen was suddenly detained by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement on and off for two years, separating him from his wife and young son, who lived in fear uncertain when he’d return home. …read more

Immigrant Justice Network Hails introduction of New Way Forward Act

Critical legislation challenges mass incarceration, racial profiling in the immigration system

Washington, DC – Today, Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), and others joined with immigrant community members facing deportation and advocates to introduce the New Way Forward Act. The measure would roll back harmful immigration laws that have led to racial profiling and disproportionately resulted in the incarceration, deportation, and destruction of families of color and immigrant communities.

The following is a statement from Oliver Merino, Coordinator of the Immigrant Justice Network, which is a partnership of the Immigrant Defense Project, the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, Just Futures Law, and the National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild (NIPNLG).