Today, President Joe Biden is expected to issue a series of executive actions that aim to expand access to citizenship and re-establish the United States as a nation of refuge that treats newcomers humanely, regardless of the circumstances of their arrival to our borders and shores. The actions also include reviewing all barriers to citizenship and legal immigration, including the public charge rule; taking steps towards streamlining the naturalization process; and establishing a Task Force of New Americans, within the White House, to coordinate a federal policy to include immigrants. The actions signaled a much-needed rejection of the cruel policies instituted by the previous administration and pave a path for meaningful and sustainable improvements to America’s immigration policy.
As we celebrate a peaceful transition of power after weeks of unrest, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) network extends its sincerest congratulations to soon-to-be President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. The inauguration of Harris, in particular, as a Black woman and a first-generation new American of Jamaican and South Asian heritage, is a significant moment in American history. Her story is the story of the American Dream and shatters the glass ceiling for so many women of color across the country as she becomes our first woman Vice President and first Vice President of color.
As the Trump administration nears its final days, it is leaving as it arrived: by limiting access to citizenship through a series of policies and practices that make it more difficult for millions of eligible immigrants to navigate the long naturalization process.
New American voters had a massive impact on the 2020 election, exercising a powerful electoral voice in many politically important states across the country like Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Organizing efforts carried out nationwide by the immigrant and refugee rights movement have helped millions to naturalize and exercise their new rights as citizens. Today we celebrate our communities’ strong civic engagement and commitment to democracy and justice. The number of naturalized citizens, along with U.S.-born voters from Black and Brown communities, proved critical in determining the next president.