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WASHINGTON, Jan. 19, 2022—The President Biden announced a welcoming and inclusive vision for immigration in a legislative proposal and a series of executive actions signed on his first day in office. But one year into Biden’s presidency, his administration continues some of the most destructive immigration policies that he denounced on the campaign trail while also dealing with persistent issues that worsened under his predecessor.

President Biden inherited a beleaguered immigration system that erects barriers to accessing lawful mechanisms to come to the United States, makes humanitarian protection out of reach for many who need it, and fails to provide a permanent solution to long-standing members of our communities. These barriers have had a dramatic impact on immigration trends, the economy, and communities across America that will take years to reverse. 

The following statement is from Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the American Immigration Council: 

“One year ago, we applauded President Biden’s proposal for immigration reform and stated commitment to create a cohesive America where all people are welcomed and where sound immigration policy can thrive. One year into his administration, the president has made progress in several critical areas, including beginning the difficult work of restoring our system of legal immigration. But sensible reform on immigration eludes our perpetually divided Congress, and some of Biden’s efforts to enact immigrant-friendly policies have been constrained by concerns about the public’s perception of his ability to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. At the end of the first year, Biden’s promise to create a safe and orderly process for seeking asylum at the border remains entirely unfulfilled, immigration detention has expanded, separated families have not been made whole, and bureaucratic delays have dramatically slowed the approval of visas and work permits for immigrants.

“Our nation needs an updated immigration system that meets the needs of our communities and the economy and respects the dignity of each person in this country. The Biden administration must redouble its efforts in the coming year to ensure that the federal government treats immigrants and refugees fairly and with compassion, mobilize the federal bureaucracy to make sure that changes to our immigration system are realized, recognize the harms done to thousands of families separated at the border, and make the system more accessible to aspiring Americans.

“We know that only so much can be achieved in a year and that immigration will not quickly cease to be a polarizing issue. But the Biden administration must commit to ensuring the well-being of all Americans—no matter where they were born—and building inclusive communities across the United States. We must work together to rewrite immigration policies for the 21st century, restore faith on America’s promise to provide safe haven for those seeking protection, and ensure that immigrants and the communities they settle in succeed.”

The American Immigration Council has a range of research and other resources on immigration reform, including experts available to speak on the immigration successes and failures of the Biden administration, immigration detention and enforcement in Biden’s first year, and Biden’s policies on the border and access to the asylum process.

The American Immigration Council works to strengthen America by shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration and by working toward a more fair and just immigration system that opens its doors to those in need of protection and unleashes the energy and skills that immigrants bring. The Council brings together problem solvers and employs four coordinated approaches to advance change—litigation, research, legislative and administrative advocacy, and communications. Follow the latest Council news and informationImmigrationImpact.comand on Twitter@immcouncil.