Immigrant Justice Network Decries Biden’s Draconian Order

Cruel policy is latest consequence of the Biden admin’s fundamental lack of vision

Washington, DC – In response to the asylum ban announced by President Biden on Monday, Oliver Merino, Coordinator for the Immigrant Justice Network, stated:

As a chorus of community voices across the country have made clear, President Biden’s draconian order will jeopardize the lives of people seeking freedom and safety. 

The Biden Administration has sacrificed fundamental values – family, safety, and caring for others – all for the sake of a cheap talking point. At the end of the day, this policy will only serve to worsen abuses and injustice at the border. 

Yet the problem did not begin on Monday. This de facto asylum ban is but the latest in a long string of broken promises and increasingly cruel measures that echo or entrench the harsh policies embraced by the previous administration. 

Just last week, the Biden administration announced plans to increase prosecution of immigrants under a pair of laws originally passed by a white supremacist senator in the 1920’s. Studies have shown that these laws are not only racist in their origin, but also in their current impact, further fueling the mass incarceration of Black and brown people and adding layers of punishment onto populations already facing devastating civil immigration penalties.    

We know that across the country, people are exhausted by political games and hungry for real solutions. This is in no small part due to the Biden administration’s failure to advance a proactive vision on immigration rooted in our values. Yet in communities throughout the country, successful, grassroots examples of welcoming and care for all, including immigrants, abound. The President must stop leaning into far-right policies and instead embrace such efforts.


The Immigrant Justice Network Opposes “Parole” in the Reconciliation Bill

Our communities deserve inclusive and permanent solutions NOW.

2021.11.9 — The immigrant Justice Network released the following statement today:

In the midst of the ongoing debate in Congress, the Immigrant Justice Network (IJN) upholds simple but all too ignored truths. We uphold that every person’s life is of value, no matter what they look like or where they came from. We affirm that our immigration policies should center around our values of community and compassion. And we affirm the humanity of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones who have had contact with the U.S.’s racist criminal-legal system.

Across the country, immigrant communities have been organizing for inclusion and permanent protection from the cruel machinery of detention and deportation. These efforts are vital and urgently needed, as are many components of the overall “Build Back Better” bill. 

However, when we look at the so-called “parole” provisions for immigration relief, we see that the important demands of the immigrant community have been whittled down into something nearly unrecognizable. These provisions, as many have noted, are inadequate. They are elusive, temporary, and restrictive. Moreover, they maintain the painful exclusion of our loved ones who have been criminalized. For these reasons, the Immigrant Justice Network opposes the “parole” option.

Even as much of the immigrant rights movement continues to hold citizenship as its north star, our network wants to draw attention to the fact that previous legislation, despite containing many critically and urgently important provisions, also excluded our loved ones, neighbors, friends, and those of us who ourselves have been criminalized. Such exclusions have their roots in a harmful framework that subjects immigrants to double-punishment and double-suspicion based on the color of their skin and where they were born.

Additionally, we join with our partners advocating for a different vision for public safety where investment is made in communities rather than in more policing and imprisonment. We recognize that both the immigration and criminal-legal systems are rooted in racism and white supremacy, and as long as lawmakers in DC continue to criminalize immigrants and people of color for political gain, we will continue to speak out against criminalization in all its forms.

Instead of bringing to the table bills that perpetuate the criminalization of our communities, we must all continue to fight for a world where no person is seen as disposable. We must fight for citizenship and protection from deportation without excluding any member of our communities, including those who have already been targeted by the criminal system. In these difficult moments, we must also continue to lift up and advocate for immigration policies, such as the New Way Forward Act, which seeks to decriminalize migration and address racism in the immigration system while affirming our values of equity, inclusion, and respect for everyone’s rights.

We call on Congress to follow the lead of our most vulnerable communities who need inclusive and permanent solutions NOW.


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.


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).


House Republicans Introduce Bill to Fuel Trump’s “Deport Them All” Agenda

H.R. 2431 Aims to Strip Immigrants, Refugees and Asylees of Already Limited Legal Protections

Introduced yesterday by Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Vice Chairman Raúl Labrador (R-ID) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), H.R. 2431, also known as the Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act, is headed for markup in the House Judiciary Committee today.

Mizue Aizeki (Immigrant Defense Project), Angie Junck (Immigrant Legal Resource Center), and Paromita Shah (National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild) released the following statement on behalf of the Immigrant Justice Network:


The Immigrant Justice Network is a leading advocacy voice against the criminalization of immigrants in the United States. Grounded in racial justice values, we build power to defend the dignity of all immigrants.