Together, the Kino Border Initiative, Hope Border Institute, and Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley Congratulate President-Elect Joe Biden and Commit to Working for Immigration Reform.
In a conversation between President-elect Biden and Pope Francis, as fellow Catholics, they discussed “a shared belief in the dignity and equality of all humankind on issues such as caring for the marginalized and the poor…and welcoming and integrating immigrants.” At Kino, we lift up conversations that recognize the humanity of migrants, which we advocate to be core to immigration policy.
Mexico responded to international pressure to abolish the practice of detaining migrant children and their families, saying it is inhumane. The reform has just entered into effect in November, giving children immediate temporary legal status to avoid being deported and leaving time to explore other legal options to stay in the country. In considering the impact of this policy, the United Nations called it a “historic advance in the field of human rights.”
While campaigning over the summer, Joe Biden stated his intent to raise the refugee ceiling, the amount of refugees admitted to the US per year, to 125,000, which is a stark contrast to Trump setting that number to a record low of 15,000. Joe Biden, has affirmed this stance now as president-elect, stating: “I promise, as president, I will reclaim that proud legacy for our country. The Biden-Harris administration will restore America’s historic role in protecting the vulnerable and defending the rights of refugees everywhere and raising our annual refugee admission target to 125,000.”
Alejandro Mayorkas is nominated as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, who would be the first Latino to ever serve in this role. It’s a move that has been deemed both “smart” and “historic.” This is a moment that has been embraced and celebrated by the immigration advocates working diligently to provide asylum seekers and refugees with more access to due process and options for protection in the United States.
On Wednesday, December 2nd, the #SaveAsylum coalition, made up of asylum seekers, community members, faith leaders, and immigration advocatesfrom both sides of the border, gathered to present a petition signed by thousands of migrants with demands to President-elect Joe Biden for his first 100 days in office that specify their demands for the restoration of asylum, due process, and the protection of their human rights. Their letter was lifted up by both Senator Sinema and Representative Kirkpatrick.