Today, Alejandro Mayorkas was confirmed as Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) applauds the historic confirmation of the first Latino, first immigrant and first child of Holocaust survior refugees to become secretary of the federal agency tasked with implementing immigration law. Mayorkas’ confirmation signals a move away from the Trump administration’s draconian and deadly policies and adopt a more rational and humane approach to federal implementation of immigration laws.
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.
On the first day of the new administration, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, which creates a path to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, including for DACA and TPS recipients and agricultural workers, strengthens family immigration, addresses roots causes of migration, expands access to asylum and refuge, and bolsters due process protections in immigration court.