For Immediate Release // Please Excuse Cross Posting
April 24, 2023
Contact: Erik Villalobos, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Los Angeles) In response to White House Domestic Policy Advisor Susan Rice, announcing her departure from the Biden Administration earlier today, Pablo Alvarado made the following remarks on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON):
We’re glad that Susan Rice is leaving as President Biden’s domestic policy adviser. While the President is of course responsible for his own policies, Ms. Rice’s tenure was marked by one bad White House decision after another on immigrants’ and human rights. She bears much responsibility for the huge disconnect between the administration’s lofty words about welcoming and respecting immigrants and its reprehensible anti-immigrant actions on the ground — particularly along the southern border.
A new adviser will give Mr. Biden an opportunity to do better. A chance to fix his broken promises. We expect him to take it.
The President needs to abandon the use of deterrence against migrants — to stop throwing up dubious legal barriers and denying rights to migrants with the goal of driving them away and easing his political problems.
The way to handle migrant arrivals is not by abandoning them and systematically trying to kill their hopes and determination. It is not by denying coronavirus vaccines to immigrants in custody, making the cruel calculation that political advantage is more important than saving lives.
Mr. Biden should have been forging domestic policies that honor the United States’ best intentions and ideals — as he promised on the first day of his presidency.
He should reauthorize and expand Temporary Protected Status for migrants from Central America, the Caribbean, Africa and to anyone else who cannot safely return home.
He should robustly defend and promote a policy embraced by the Department of Homeland Security that protects immigrant workers who stand their ground against abusive employers. The new rule granting deferred deportation and work authorization to workers is a huge step toward safer, fairer and more lawful workplaces for everyone, citizens and immigrants alike. Like the DACA program, which granted deferred deportation to thousands of Dreamers, the policy has the potential to change many lives for the better.
President Biden’s refusal to own, defend and publicize this policy — and to publicize it, the way President Barack Obama promoted DACA — risks leaving it ineffective, pointless and essentially meaningless. Few immigrants know about the program and most have good reasons to distrust promises from DHS.
Mr. Biden’s timid silence about his own policy suggests that he has been getting terrible advice from Ms. Rice. He should be a profile in courage on immigration — instead of a symbol of craven political calculation and overthinking.
When Ms. Rice leaves the White House next month, we hope she takes these terrible tendencies with her.”
–Pablo Alvarado, NDLON Co-Executive Director