Over the last four years, the Trump administration has made significant changes to immigration policy in the United States. Due to reduced admissions caps, unfounded security concerns, unjustifiable separation of families, criminalization of people seeking asylum, travel bans, and other policy measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, refugee resettlement and overall immigration numbers have decreased. At the same time, inequities have been exacerbated, human rights violated, and prejudices given priority.
The Migrants and Displaced Persons Task Force, which includes a focus on refugees and other people displaced by violence, persecution, economic instability, food insecurity and climate change, recommends that the incoming Administration systematically dismantle recent immigration policies that promote injustice and inequity.
- Review existing immigration policies and ensure that the United States:
- returns to levels of refugee resettlement from 2016;
- increases financial support for resettling refugees and develops community partnerships (i.e. incentives and resources for community partners);
- restores asylum protections and procedures as established under the Refugee Act of 1980;
- promotes family unity by calling for an end to family separation;
- overturns restrictions on international students regarding entry, number of visas issued, length of time allowed to stay in country, and countries allowed access to such visas;
- redirects responsibilities and funds from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to community stakeholders;
- addresses the back log of applicants with culturally appropriate resources and processes, including closing detention centers and updating the current visa system;
- raises prevailing wages for the H-1B community;
- ends the Public Charge Rule (inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds); and
- strengthens Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by creating a path to citizenship for DACA recipients.
- Require U.S. Department of Education reporting to include impact statements inclusive of the experience of students, educators, and administration with diverse immigrant status and that reflect on supports for undocumented and unaccompanied minors in schools.
- Require federal reporting to include diverse impact statements from applicants that reflect the experience, strengths, contributions, and challenges that immigrants, migrants and refugees face in the USA.
- Ensure future COVID-19 financial stimulus relief incorporate some of the strategies and flexibilities community organizations have used (including culturally and linguistically relevant practices) to reach out to and to assist immigrant families without proper documents during the pandemic in their ongoing efforts beyond the pandemic.