NNIRR Immigrant Rights News & Action — August 2021

Mobilizing to protect and expand immigrant rights has ramped up over the past two months —responding to the political roller coaster ride that has continued unabated. There have been some wins, many set-backs, and intensified global turmoil; here we highlight a few developments and provide links for more in-depth information and action.

Photo Credit: Diane Greene Lent

A path to citizenship may be possible — but must remain free of anti-immigrant, racist measures. 

The Senate & House each passed a budget resolution package this month that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. We are closer than ever to gaining permanent residency for Dreamers, TPS holders, farm workers, and essential workers.

However, legislative language in these initial bills include several racist, exclusionary amendments and border enforcement provisions that would cause continuing harm to our communities. There are a few steps left to reconciling policy details in both Congressional chambers, so there is still time to press for better conditions. For NNIRR’s statement on the budget reconciliation and pathway to citizenship, click here.

Photo Credit: Diane Greene Lent

Solidarity for Haiti

We continue to express our support and solidarity for the people of Haiti after the devastating August 14th earthquake that has deepened the humanitarian crisis in Haiti. We call on the Biden administration to halt all deportations to Haiti and expand Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians in the U.S. While we applaud the hard-won designation of TPS for Haiti, are deeply concerned by continued deportations of Haitians.

After years of pressure by community groups, a new, 18-month TPS for Haiti was designated in early August, allowing Haitians in the United States on or before July 29, 2021 to apply. In light of the recent earthquake, coupled with political turmoil, we support the call to expand TPS for Haiti and extend the cut-off date to include those affected by the earthquake. In addition to Haiti, there are urgent calls for TPS to be granted for Cameroon, Ethiopia, Mauritania, and Nepal. For more on TPS, Haiti and where you can send your support, click here.

Sign the petition!

President Biden: Asylum-seekers deserve a right to due process — end Title 42!

The administration has once again extended Title 42, a Trump era public health order that calls for the expedited expulsion of asylum-seekers without a formal hearing in front of a judge. Since March of 2020, Title 42 has enabled the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, placing expelled migrants into extremely unsafe and dangerous conditions. And, this policy has caused disproportionate harm to Black immigrants —some of the first deportation flights of the Biden administration were of Haitian asylum-seekers. Take action to make your voice heard! Sign this petition to tell President Biden to end Title 42!

And for more advocacy regarding border human rights, see NNIRR’s statement on the recent SCOTUS ruling on Migrant Protection Protocols, MPP.

Photo Credit: duncan c

Refuge and support for the people of Afghanistan

This article from Democracy Now! is a good backgrounder on the roots of the crisis in Afghanistan and the role of the US government in causing the conditions for the humanitarian crisis, similar to the crises in Latin America. 

Another exodus is happening halfway around the world as asylum seekers from Central America make the perilous journey to the U.S./Mexico border. There, they face draconian U.S. immigration policies that consign them to ‘Remain in Mexico.’ Much like Afghan civilians caught in the crossfire of that 20-year war, these migrants live in constant danger in squalid, makeshift refugee camps in Mexican border cities, waiting for a chance at asylum in the United States.

 — From Kabul to the Rio Grande, the U.S. Creates Refugee Crises, Democracy Now!

We call on the U.S. Government to allow refugees from Afghanistan, and extend the evacuation period beyond August 31. You can express your outrage and demand the White House extend the deadline for safe evacuation, and provide refuge for those who must flee to protect their personal safety.

Defending the Displaced: Border Justice & Migrant Rights

On August 26th, NNIRR co-hosted a powerful event with Othering & Belonging Institute with critical perspectives on human rights for migrants at the border, anti-blackness in migration policy, root causes of migration, and the current push for a pathway to citizenship.  If you missed it, you can watch the video here.

Intern Team 2021

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NNIRR sends a heartfelt shout out to our 2021 interns!

We have had an amazing group of young scholars join us this year —they have helped us dive deep with research on immigration and border policy, elevated our graphic messaging and social media communications, and brought fresh thinking and ideas to our work for human rights.

Summer 2021 intern team, pictured left from top, during a zoom conversation.

Rana Nejad, Daniela Juarez, Christopher Unruh

We also want to thank and name the scholars who joined our Spring intern team (sadly there is no photo!): 

Martina Bellan, Veronica Bido, Assata Davis, Quinn Samouilidis, Claudia Soh, & University of Denver, International Disaster Psychology Trauma in Global Mental Health MA interns: Morgan Haviland, Elise Legge

We hope we can count on your continued support and partnership!

Your contributions support NNIRR to:

  • advocate for immigration policy that centers human rights
  • lift up grassroots leadership, organizing and advocacy
  • spotlight border human rights organizing at the US-Mexico border
  • advocate for international migrant rights & human rights at borders
  • organize at the intersections, including climate justice and migrant rights