FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 23, 2021
Contact: Dana Lea | firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON D.C. – Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) applauds the Biden Administration’s comprehensive immigration legislation (“US Citizenship Act of 2021”) introduced in Congress on his first day in office and the subsequent Executive Orders affirming the Administration’s commitment to positive immigration reform.
According to the White House announcement, the proposed legislation — which centers around an 8-year path to citizenship for undocumented persons — also includes provisions protecting those who are seeking asylum, using technology to police the Nation’s borders, pausing deportations, supporting family reunification, and work to reduce immigration court and visa backlogs. It will also emphasize addressing the root causes of migration from Central America.
“We applaud the new Administration’s thoughtful and comprehensive proposal to address the need for immigration reform and increase the protection space for refugees and asylum-seekers,” said Kristyn Peck, LSSNCA’s CEO. “It centers families, addresses root causes of migration, and recognizes the dignity of our neighbors and fellow human beings,” she said. She went on, “We hereby call upon Congress to immediately hold hearings, debate, and enact this vital legislation which recognizes our country’s origins as a safe haven for those seeking protection and refuge from persecution.”
During the Administration’s first three days in office, several Executive Orders (EOs) were released to overturn actions by the previous administration. These EOs include revoking the so-called “Muslim Travel Ban,” which blocked immigrants and refugees from several majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.; overturning an EO blocking sanctuary cities from receiving federal funding and creating a review of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration enforcement while pausing deportations for 100 days; an order allowing the Census to gather population data regardless of immigration status; halting construction of the border wall; extending Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) for Liberians living in the U.S.; and protecting and fortifying Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Along with the order on review of DHS immigration policy, DHS announced a halt to enrollments in the Migrant Protection Protocols (or “Remain in Mexico”) policy.
The Biden Administration has acted swiftly to assert its commitment to positive immigration reform. We expect to see more over the coming weeks as Congress reviews the Administration’s proposed immigration legislation. We await more announcements and orders related to both refugee resettlement and DACA. The Biden campaign committed to raising the total number of refugees allowed entry into the country in Fiscal Year 2021 from the current, and all-time low, level of 15,000 to 125,000, as well as, a, 8-year pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients.
Since 1917, LSSNCA has served boldly in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Today, we walk alongside those most in need in the greater DMV to offer hope and accompaniment through services that foster healthy and self-sufficient livelihoods. This includes welcoming New Americans, strengthening families and providing a safe haven to unaccompanied children, providing holistic health and wellness services, workforce development, mentorship and education on healthy relationships for young people, and our Youth Haven camps for children impacted by HIV/AIDS. Together and with the help of partners and volunteers we work to promote welcoming and compassionate communities.