FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Atlanta, GA —On Day One, President Biden fulfilled several campaign promises by issuing executive orders and memoranda on immigrant-related actions. The actions come at the heels of tireless advocacy of immigrant communities and advocates to provide actions on racial equality, complete count on the census, reversing discriminatory bans, protecting dreamers and other immigrants, and more.
One in ten Georgians were born in another country, while about 7 percent of residents are native-born U.S. citizens with at least one immigrant parent. With a rapidly growing immigrant community, Georgia will be greatly impacted by the changes to come from the Biden Administration.
The Georgia Immigrant Rights Alliance (GIRA), a statewide policy table led by immigrant communities across Georgia, releases the following statement:
Glory Kilanko, Founder and Executive Director, Women Watch Afrika: “These executive orders include a pathway to citizenship for millions of people, a restructured U.S. refugee resettlement program, and the No Ban Act, which prohibits discrimination based on religion. This provides much-needed relief for our communities that no longer have to live under the discriminatory Muslim Ban or the threat of DACA termination. We applaud his actions as it marks an end to destructive policies that have torn families apart over the last four years.”
Pedro Viloria, Advocacy & Field Lead, Latino Community Fund of Georgia: “With this round of Executive Orders, the Biden administration declares to the immigrant community, from Day One, that it is committed to enacting rapid, ambitious and overdue transformative change. However, this is only the first step towards addressing and dismantling the years of systematic injustice and indifference that have sabotaged our communities for generations. Now more than ever, it is important that we hold our elected officials accountable for intentional advocacy and legislation in favor of the immigrant community and its interests.”
Murtaza Khwaja, Legal & Policy Director, CAIR Georgia: “President Biden has now affirmed that the prior administration’s bigoted policies have no place in today’s America. However, much work remains. Muslims, immigrants and Black Americans both within and outside Islam, bore the brunt of these racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory policies and will continue to face their effects. These Executive Orders are a step forward in the struggle against Islamophobia, anti-Black discrimination, and xenophobia, but they are not the end of the struggle. Georgia Muslims and our community partners remain steadfast in our advocacy of the inherent dignity of all people —of all races, all faiths, and all backgrounds—and in our protection of the rights and civil liberties of all.”
As members and allies of immigrant communities across the state, we are excited about today’s historic actions and are prepared to continue to defend families here in our own backyard. There is a long path before us to make Georgia a better place for immigrant communities. We urge local and state elected officials to follow the example that President Biden has set and proactively work to protect and nurture ALL Georgians.
The executive orders called for:
Advancing equity for all, including people of color and others who have been historically underserved, marginalized, and adversely affected by persistent poverty and inequality.
Revokes the prior Administration’s orders setting out an unlawful plan to exclude noncitizens from the census and apportionment of Congressional representatives. President Biden will ensure that the Census Bureau has time to complete an accurate population count for each state
Repeals Proclamations 9645 and 9983, which restrict entry into the United States from primarily Muslim and African countries, and instructs the State Department to: restart visa processing for affected countries, swiftly develop a proposal to restore fairness, and remedy the harms caused by the bans, especially for individuals stuck in the waiver process and those who had immigrant visas denied
Allows the Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to set civil immigration enforcement policies that best protect the American people and are in line with our values and priorities
Directs an immediate pause in wall construction projects to allow a close review of the legality of the funding and contracting methods used, and to determine the best way to redirect funds that were diverted by the prior Administration to fund wall construction
Extends until June 30, 2022 under a Presidential Memorandum the long-standing Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) designation for Liberians who have been in the United States for many years
Calls on Congress to adopt legislation to grant permanent status and a path to citizenship to Dreamers- about 700,000 undocumented young individuals who were brought to the country as children and shielded from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
The Georgia Immigrant Rights Alliance (GIRA) is a statewide policy table led by immigrant communities across Georgia. The purpose of this alliance is to safeguard the rights of Georgian immigrants to create a more equal and just Georgia for immigrants, especially in the context of ongoing discriminatory treatment and targeting of these communities.
Members of GIRA
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta
Asian American Advocacy Fund
Athens Immigrant Rights Coalition
Asian Youth for Civic Engagement
The Council on American-Islamic Relations – Georgia
Coalición de Líderes Latinos
Federation of Korean American Association of South East & Korean Chamber
Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials
Georgia Familias Unidas
Georgia Muslim Voter Project
Korean American Coalition – Atlanta
Laotian American Society
Latino Community Fund – Georgia
Refugee Women’s Network
Southeast Immigrant Rights Network
Southern Poverty Law Center
Wake Up Atlanta
Women Watch Afrika
As an expert in this field, Women Watch Afrika provides trainings as a consultant on numerous issues. For more information on training, guidance, consulting services, and/or information on working with immigrant communities contact Glory Kilanko, Founder and Executive Director, Women Watch Afrika, Inc. at 404-759-6419 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Women Watch Afrika:
Women Watch Afrika is a grassroots, nonprofit, international, national, and local social justice organization focused on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls, the promotion of social and economic development and health equity of women, and the acculturation of immigrants and refugees arriving to the United States from 23 African nations.
In line with its goal, Women Watch Afrika provides Social Services, Legal Services, Advocacy, Health Education, Legal Education, End Domestic Violence classes, Stop FGM/C workshops, Know Your Rights workshops, Citizenship Preparation, Civic Engagement; and Advocates against unjust, discriminatory laws that affect the community.
Website: https://womenwatchafrika.org/ Tel: 404-759-6419
Twitter: @WomenWatchAfri Facebook: @WomenWatchAfrika
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