Need a Dive Deep Into Immigration Executive Actions? CLINIC Experts Can Help

SILVER SPRING, Maryland — With expertise in immigration law, policy and implementation, the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. is available to explain and analyze the Biden administration’s slate of executive actions. See below for key topic areas, quotes, and backgrounders.

On Family Separation and Reunification

Ann Garcia, staff attorney with CLINIC’s Defending Vulnerable Populations Program, said: “We look forward to assisting the newly formed Task Force in identifying and locating those families that remain separated and informing the government’s efforts on reunification. While we celebrate this initial step, we urge the new members of the Task Force to move with urgency, as if the unity of their own families was at stake. We also expect that family reunification will be the Task Force’s first mission, but not its last. Without additional interventions, many of the reunited families could be separated once more.”

See CLINIC’s recommendations on ending and resolving the family separation crisis, and other policies needed to protect immigrant children and youth.

On Reinstating the Central American Minors Program

Jill Bussey, director of Advocacy, said: "We commend the President for directing the Secretaries of State and Homeland Security to re-open and improve programs that allow people to apply for admission from abroad. This is to include the reinstatement and improvement of the Central American Minors, or CAM, Program - a vital tool to protect vulnerable children and reunify families. It was proven to be a safe alternative to the treacherous journey that too many have had to endure.”

For more, see CLINIC’s policy recommendations on protecting immigrant children and youth.

On Recommitting to Asylum and Other Forms of Humanitarian Protection

Anna Gallagher, executive director, said “The United States must return to observing international conventions and treaties, and being an example for human rights protection in the world. No human being should be sent back to harm. When our government shirked that responsibility for four years, people died. We can reclaim our reputation as a defender of human rights by ensuring that no person is deported, expelled or turned back to danger and death. That action must start today.”

Victoria Neilson, managing attorney of the Defending Vulnerable Populations Program, said, “CLINIC is relieved that the Biden administration recognizes that our asylum system has been ‘badly damaged’ and recognizes that the inhuman treatment of the most vulnerable ‘contravene[s] our values.’ We look forward to the new administration taking concrete steps over the coming months to restore a functioning asylum system that treats the most vulnerable with dignity and fairness.”

Read CLINIC’s paper outlining concrete steps the Biden administration must take to restore the right to seek asylum.

On Public Charge

Karen Sullivan, federal advocacy and liaison attorney, said: “We are pleased to see the Biden administration taking its first step toward reversing the harmful Public Charge policies instituted under the Trump administration, which separated families and instilled fear in communities, making people afraid to seek essential medical and food assistance. There is far more to be done after this executive order. We look forward to working with the administration to create and implement a just and fair policy that supports the unity and health of immigrant families.”

See CLINIC’s additional recommendations for assisting immigrant integration.

On Naturalization

Laura Burdick, field support coordinator, said: “We applaud President Biden’s Executive Order on promoting naturalization and eliminating barriers in the process. We urge the new administration to act with haste to suspend the prior Administration’s burdensome new citizenship test until it can be properly vetted and evaluated. The new test is already in effect and creating considerable challenges for students and educators. The new administration must take immediate steps to ensure that the citizenship test is fair and reflects our values as a nation of immigrants.”

CLINIC has also written about changes needed to restore fairness to the naturalization process.

In addition to the topics above, CLINIC published transition papers on DOJ Recognition and AccreditationForeign-Born Religious Workers and Enforcement at Sensitive Locations. The organization also co-authored recommendations for implementing the Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act and using Temporary Protected Status to save lives.

See our entire library of policy recommendations here: