Washington, DC – Today, President Joe Biden signed a series of Executive Orders and presidential directives that will reunify families separated at the border and authorize a review of the previous Administration’s damaging immigration policies that limited asylum, made it more difficult for immigrants to be naturalized, significantly expanded the public charge inadmissibility test, and slowed legal immigration into the United States. Welcoming the action, bipartisan mayors holding key leadership positions in the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) issued the following statements:
USCM President and Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said “Every day, mayors see firsthand how immigrant families can strengthen our communities, our businesses and our economies. They make our culture and our country richer. We welcome these actions from the Biden Administration that will help us build an immigration system that is humane, fair and ensures that the American Dream can be attained for those who seek it in our land of opportunity.
“The cruel and inhumane immigration policies of the previous administration separated thousands of families at the border, many of whom remain separated. Their approach to immigration led to chaos at our borders and confusion across multiple layers of government. We applaud the Biden Administration’s commitment to safely managing lawful, orderly migration across the region, which will ensure that as many people as possible can realize their full potential and contribute more fully to our country.”
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair of USCM’s Latino Alliance, said “Los Angeles and all of our cities are strengthened by the contributions of immigrants as doctors and nurses, as essential workers, as teachers, paramedics, manufacturers, and key pillars of our communities. Today, President Biden honored that tradition by not only reversing cruel policies, but reclaiming American values and reminding the world who we are at our best: a nation that doesn’t separate families, but reunites them; that doesn’t shut doors on those fleeing persecution, but opens them; that tells asylum seekers, refugees, and Dreamers that the United States has a place for them too.”
Mesa Mayor John Giles, Co-Chair of USCM’s Immigration Reform Taskforce, said “Immigration reform is incredibly important, and I support the Biden administration’s prioritization of this issue and the decisive actions around integration, reuniting families, and strategies for the southern border. Most importantly, we need to continue to work to keep families together, and to ensure all families and all children are treated with dignity and respect.”
Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Co-Chair of USCM’s Immigration Reform Task Force, said “The Administration’s latest Executive Orders are a good start toward repealing some of the most shameful and heartless policies in American history. While we can’t undo much of the damage that has been done, this action represents a step in the right direction. The federal government has an opportunity to not just correct the harms of the past, but to invest in our immigrant communities for the long-term by keeping families together, removing harmful barriers to citizenship, and providing localities with the resources they need to successfully integrate new Americans into our communities.”