Immigration Equality Responds to President Biden’s Action on Immigration

February 5, 2021 (NEW YORK, NY)

Statement from Bridget Crawford, Immigration Equality’s Legal Director:

Immigration Equality welcomes the actions by President Biden this week that affirm his commitment to LGBTQ immigrants’ rights.  Through a series of executive orders and actions over the past several days, the President has:

  • Affirmed his commitment to advocate for LGBTQ rights at home and abroad
  • Directed his administration to revoke several Trump Administration executive actions and review and consider other harmful Trump policies and regulations that eviscerate asylum protections and put LGBTQ and HIV-positive asylum seekers in harm’s way
  • Taken meaningful steps to restore and improve refugee resettlement, including protections for LGBTQ and HIV-positive people and actions to potentially recognize life partners as “spouses” for purposes of refugee benefits

While these actions are important steps toward rebuilding our asylum and refugee system and ensuring equality for LGBTQ non-citizens, there is more work to be done. We encourage the Biden administration to immediately:

  • End discriminatory policies at the U.S. State Department and throughout the government that deny rights to LGBTQ and HIV-positive families
  • End the dangerous and unnecessary detention of LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants
  • End damaging policies and regulations that gut the asylum system, like the Death to Asylum Rule, Asylum Cooperative Agreements, and Third Country Transit Ban
  • End the Remain in Mexico program entirely, stop expulsions of refugees at the border, and bring asylum seekers, including LGBTQ and HIV-positive refugees, stranded in dangerous conditions to safety
  • Ensure asylum seekers have access to work authorization so that they can support themselves as they pursue their claims
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