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Approaching 100th Day of Biden Administration, NPNA Reflects on Wins and Calls for Bold Action for Immigrants and Refugees

WASHINGTON – As the 100th day of the Biden administration nears, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), a leading coalition of 41 immigrant and refugee rights organizations, applauds several strong victories for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers while urging President Biden to take further action to proactively uplift immigrants and refugees and undo policies of the previous administration that continue to cause irreparable harm.

“While the first 100 days of the Biden administration have brought positive changes for a majority of immigrant communities across the country, there is still much more work to do,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA. “There are some families still experiencing deportations, refugees still cannot apply for refuge, and the asylum process is still broken. Because we believe in the Biden administration’s good intentions, NPNA stands committed to working hand-in-hand to rebuild what was destroyed and creating a more inclusive and welcoming nation.”

In its first 100 days, the Biden administration has shown a political willingness to realize some, though not all, of its campaign promises on immigration issues. Advocates have seen positive movement on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), ending the Muslim and African bans, designating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to Venezuela, Myanmar, and Syria, ending the Remain in Mexico policy, as well as executive actions that direct a review of barriers to citizenship, refuge and asylum.

Still, many Biden campaign pledges remain elusive, due in part to rejections by Republicans in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. Citizenship Act and legislation like the American Dream and Promise Act and Farm Workforce Modernization Act, which offer a road to permanent residency and eventually citizenship for a smaller group of undocumented immigrants, lack critical support in the Senate. At the same time, Republicans’ political attacks on the Biden administration regarding the border have had the unfortunate impact of making the administration overly cautious, when what is needed is bold action including creating a path to citizenship for essential workers, DACA and TPS holders, and other undocumented immigrants through reconciliation.

That said, there are many changes that the Biden administration can pursue with little to no congressional action, including ending the use of Title 42 expulsions, redesignating for TPS for Haiti and other countries who are set to expire, and increasing the number of refugees that the U.S. will resettle as part of the Presidential Determination. These are literally life or death decisions that will impact millions of lives. The administration can also take action to expand access to citizenship and justice and to bolster due process protections through an increase of legal representation for those in detention and removal proceedings.