“Biden introduced a bold and sweeping immigration bill on day one,” campaign steering committee member America’s Voice said. “The new administration has already rolled out eight major executive actions on immigration policy. More are expected this coming Friday. Public support has never been stronger. Democrats recognize that the once-feared dog-whistle wedge attacks are losing their edge. And the immigrant justice movement has never been stronger.”
The “We Are Home” campaign, which launched on Monday, is leveraging that strength following the Black and brown people-powered wins in Arizona and Georgia that cemented Democratic control of the U.S. Senate to launch the eight-figure total campaign, advocates said in a second release received by Daily Kos.
“The campaign begins with a 6-figure digital media push in Washington D.C. and targeted states to reach members of Congress and encourage the Biden-Harris administration,” the statement said. “Leveraging the power of all partners, the campaign will engage in grassroots organizing, community mobilization, direct action, digital organizing, paid media, cultural organizing and direct advocacy.” Further groups from the steering committee also include Detention Watch Network, National Korean American Service and Education Consortium, and UndocuBlack Network, among many other leading organizations.
Statements from a number of the organization leaders stressed it’s long past time to take a drastically different approach to immigration policy, one that departs from racism, xenophobia, mass detention and cruel deportations, and puts people first. And that needs to happen as soon as possible, they said, including through executive action as we fight for legislation.
“UndocuBlack is a multi-generational network of Black undocumented people across the U.S. and we are still reeling from unspeakable loss, death and deportations of our members and their loved ones during the last four years,” organization co-director Patrice Lawrence said in the statement. “We must allow these stories to be the wind in our sails making decisive demands on day one. Moving with that same energy, UndocuBlack firmly believes that we can undo cruelty not only from Trump’s administration but beyond. It will take radical courage but we must not limit ourselves.”
“Now is the time for transformative change,” Detention Watch Network executive director Silky Shah said in the statement. “Fairness, freedom and opportunity should be at the core of our immigration system, but our current system isn’t set up to uphold these values, instead, people are deprived of their liberty, separated from their loved ones, and put at risk in ICE custody. Biden’s initial actions on immigration policy are a welcome departure from the racism and xenophobia of the Trump era. Now it will be crucial for the administration to continue to take action to undo the criminalization and punitive nature of the immigration detention system.”
The groups introduced the campaign in a moving video. “Here, as we face a new day, we know that we have come this far, and we will go further, because we are home,” the narrator said.
Biden’s immigration plan features the legalization of 11 million undocumented immigrants at its center, with an immediate path for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals recipients, Temporary Protected Status holders, and farmworkers. But the groups say that the cruelties of the past four years in particular show how important it is to transform out-of-control agencies like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.
“Our people and our movements have organized for decades to get us to today,” Community Change co-president Lorella Praeli said in the statement. “We are on the cusp of dismantling a dysfunctional, unjust, and inhumane immigration system, and winning laws and policies that respect the dignity and rights of immigrants. We are demanding a path to citizenship and a transformation of the enforcement system so it no longer leads with detention and deportation. We are demanding a better future for our families, our neighbors, our children. We are demanding a future where we all can thrive, regardless of race, religion, or birthplace. We are home. We’ve been home.” Click here to find out more about the “We Are Home” campaign.