Immigrants holding a banner

Late on Inauguration Day, President Biden signed an Executive Order repealing the Trump administration’s mass deportation policy and directing federal departments to carry out the mission. The Department of Homeland Security announced it will suspend deportations for 100 days, starting January 22. This gives the government time to establish a new immigration policy, and for Congress to pass immigration laws that create pathways to citizenship for immigrants who are already home.

Lynn Tramonte, Director of the Ohio Immigrant Alliance responds:

From every immigration jail, let freedom ring! 

This 100-day pause is a sigh of relief for so many people in Ohio and beyond. After four brutal years of cruel and truly incomprehensible deportations, the U.S. Government seems ready to inject some common sense into the enforcement of civil immigration laws.

Should the spouse of a U.S. citizen be torn from his family and banished to a country he once fled? Should a child have to grow up worrying that every time Mom or Dad leaves home they may never return, because “Immigration” snatched them

Should families have to make safety plans and sign powers of attorney to ensure their children are cared for by proper adults, if the parents are arrested for deportation? Should people lose their jobs, homes, and businesses, lives they built over decades, to be sent to a country they haven’t seen in 20 years?

All this and more happened under the Trump Administration. It happened under the Obama Administration too. What’s different is that the pain of deportation and family separation has shown up on the front page and the nightly news. Brave immigrants told their stories and challenged our country to be the nation of opportunity and dreams we claim. Now, more U.S. Americans see how destructive our immigration laws can be. There is consensus support for broad and fair legal reform.

While the Biden-Harris Administration can improve the way immigration laws are enforced exponentially, Congress needs to step up. Now is the time to fix our immigration laws so that immigrants and their loved ones can live their lives in peace.

In addition to stopping deportations, releasing immigrants from so-called “detention” (jail), fixing the nation's Immigration Courts, and totally revamping immigration laws, the Biden-Harris Administration and Congress must create opportunities for people who were already deported to come home. Reuniting these families is part of the healing we need as anation. Read more about policy solutions here:

Follow the Ohio Immigrant Alliance on Facebook and Twitter @tramontela