A Victory for Immigrant and Refugee Families: the Value Our Families Coalition Applauds Commitment to Immigrant and Refugee Family Reunification in Biden Immigration Bill

Efforts to clear family-based visa backlogs and reunite families would restore humanity to our immigration system and re-prioritize families
For Immediate Release
Armando Carmona 951-966-6500 armando@tzunu.com
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144 mboykins@advancingjustice-aajc.org

Washington, D.C. – Just hours before being sworn in, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have released a landmark immigration bill honoring their commitments to reunite immigrant families who have been the constant target for a xenophobic Trump Administration, create a  path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, and begin to rebuild the refugee resettlement program in line with our nation’s values of compassion, hospitality, and welcome. The Value Our Families campaign has advocated for and won the inclusion of Representative Judy Chu’s Reuniting Families Act in President Biden’s bill which would modernize and fix the family immigration system. The bill also includes the No Ban Act and a faster pathway to citizenship for undocumented youth eligible for the DREAM Act and TPS holders. 

Today, the administration also issues executive orders and memoranda ordering a full reinstatement of DACA, a repeal of the Muslim and African bans, a halt on border wall construction and a temporary moratorium on deportations. 

“We applaud President Biden in the fulfillment of his campaign promises to take action on day one to undo many of the harsh policies of Trump administration,” said John C. Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. “Legalizing undocumented people and reforming our family-based immigration system are top priorities for Asian American and immigrant communities. Through our collective advocacy with Latino and Black immigrant communities through the Value Our Families campaign we are one step closer to a more humane and just immigration system that puts families first.” 

“Today marks a new beginning for compassionate policy, a fresh start for immigration and resettlement, and a rekindling of hope for families seeking to be part of our great nation free from fear. It is now the duty of Congress to pass this bill and deliver it to President Biden’s desk for his signature” said Rev. John L. McCullough, President and CEO of Church World Service. “This may be only an initial step forward, but it is an important one. Immigrant and refugee families have been long-torn apart—both by a system that shuts doors instead of opening them and by those who would use that system as a tool to amplify their xenophobia.”

“Immigrant families want to live united and free and we welcome the inclusion of family unity in the Biden Harris Immigration Reform vision and proposal” said Angelica Salas, Executive Director of CHIRLA. “Immigrant families have always been this country's strength and contributors to all aspects of American life. The Reuniting Families Act has been our gold standard for family unity and having it included in the Biden Harris Administration uplifts our goal of keeping families together.”

The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated the reliance on immigrants and refugees who serve as essential workers, as well as their contributions to our nation’s economy, food system, healthcare workforce, and other frontline roles.  This country depends on these communities and we must affirm the value and dignity of these heroes. This legislation is a bold first step in correcting multi-generational damage that a broken U.S. immigration system has wrought on families, and which has been exacerbated by the last four years of hate-filled leadership by the previous administration. 

The Value Our Families coalition is committed to strengthening and expanding the U.S. family immigration system and working with the incoming Biden-Harris administration to ensure no immigrant families aren’t left behind.