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In a letter to government leaders, group calls for immediate action to reduce the harms of detention and deportation within 100 days


WASHINGTON, DC — The We Are Home campaign, alongside more than one hundred national and state advocacy organizations, today urged Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and the Biden administration to take immediate steps to reduce the harms of detention and deportation through crucial executive actions within the next 100 days.
The letter calls on DHS to institute seven specific policy changes to begin to overhaul the immigration enforcement system:

  • Implementation of the interim enforcement priorities, including affirmative consideration of release for people in detention;
  • Immediate halt to deportations to Haiti and proactive grants of stays of removal;
  • Immediate closure of detention facilities and an end to the use of private prisons and state and local jails;
  • Termination of 287(g), Secure Communities, and ICE detainers;
  • Closure of hundreds of thousands of pending immigration court cases;
  • Flipping the framework of prosecutorial discretion so the focus is on relief and not punishment; and
  • Welcoming of asylum seekers at the southern border without detention.       

“The Biden-Harris administration has an opportunity in these early days through quick executive action not only to reverse the painful harm imposed on immigrant communities over the past four years, but to take bold steps toward a more just and humane immigration system for the future,” stated Nayna Gupta, Associate Policy Director at the National Immigrant Justice Center. “We urge the administration to immediately decrease the use of detention and deportation as tools of enforcement for civil immigration laws. These harsh and punitive practices undermine public safety and target Black and Brown immigrant communities.”
The letter calls on Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration to take action immediately:

“Reversing the dysfunction and brutality of the immigration enforcement system must be a central priority for the new Administration. It is time to challenge the misconception that detention and deportation must anchor the enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws, and instead build a fair, humane, and functional system that facilitates compliance and respects all people regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. In the long term, enforcement reform will require Congressional action. However, significant progress can be made through executive action - and the needs are urgent.”
Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director of the National Immigration Project (NIPNLG), added, "Our communities need bold, visionary actions to reverse the devastating harm the mass incarceration and deportation of Black and brown immigrants have wrought. We urge the Biden administration to use this moment to move towards racial justice in the immigration context, and towards an immigration system that reflects values of humanity and compassion. For that to happen, we need to see an end to detention and deportation, and a move away from systems of exclusion and double punishment."
Nathaly Arriola, Campaign Director of We Are Home, also stated, “The detention and deportation system has devastated millions of families who call this country home - and the impact of this cruel system has fallen disproportionately on Black and Brown immigrants. The new Administration must make good on its commitment to racial equity by taking immediate action to blunt the harms of enforcement, and build toward a new system that is fair and humane and treats immigrants with the dignity they deserve.”

We Are Home is a nationwide campaign fighting to ensure that “we the people” includes all of us. Our mission is to transform America’s inhumane immigration system. We Are Home is co-chaired by Community Change/Community Change Action, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)/Care in Action, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), United Farm Workers (UFW), and United We Dream.

Signatories on the letter to Secretary Mayorkas include:

Adelante Alabama Worker Center
Advancement Project, National Office
Advocate Visitors with Immigrants in Detention
Aldea - The People’s Justice Center
Alianza Americas
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas
America’s Voice
American Friends Service Committee
American Immigration Council
Americans for Immigrant Justice
Arkansas United
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Bridges Faith Initiative
California Immigrant Policy Center
Center for Disability Rights
Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Center for Popular Democracy
Church World Service
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Community Asylum Seekers Project
Community Change Action
Community Justice Exchange
Corazon Latino
Desert Support for Asylum Seekers
Detention Watch Network
Doctors for Camp Closure
Doctors for Camp Closure
Faith in Action
Faith in Public Life
Families for Freedom
First Focus on Children
Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project
Freedom for Immigrants
Government Information Watch
H-CAN Immigration and Refugee group
Haitian Bridge Alliance
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Immigrant Action Alliance
Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
Immigrant Legal Defense
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Immigration Hub
Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice
International Detention Coalition
Justice Strategies
Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law
Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Legal Aid Justice Center
Louisiana Advocates for Immigrants in Detention
Make the Road New York
Maryland Against ICE Detention
Memphis United Methodist Immigrant Relief Fund
Mi Familia Vota
Mid-South Immigration Advocates
Minnesota Interfaith Coalition on Immigration
National Association of Social Workers
National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC)
National Council of Jewish Women
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Immigrant Justice Center
National Immigration Law Center
National Immigration Litigation Alliance
National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
National Partnership for New Americans
Nebraska Appleseed
New York Immigration Coalition
Northern Illinois Justice for Our Neighbors
NYU Immigrant Rights Clinic
Operation Restoration
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
Physicians for Human Rights
Poder Latinx
POWER Live Free Immigration Group
Queer Detainee Empowerment Project
Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network
Sanctuary DMV
Save the Children Action Network
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas - Justice Team
South Carolina Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Southern Border Communities Coalition
Southern Poverty Law Center
Still Waters Anti-trafficking Program
Takoma Park Mobilization
The Advocates for Human Rights
UndocuBlack Network
United Farm Workers
United We Dream
Voces de la Frontera
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Women’s Refugee Commission
Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights