ICIRR leaders expect Biden to address immigrant relief during SOTU

Brandon Lee

773-259-5288

Tue Mar 01 2022


CHICAGO – For the past year, ICIRR members have been demanding relief for immigrant communities in the form of both legislation from Congress and executive action from President Biden.


Tonight, President Biden will address Congress and the nation. While we expect much of the speech to focus on Ukraine, ICIRR members share their expectations for tonight’s State of the Union, and reiterate our community demands that have largely gone unmet since Biden took office:


"Joe Biden needs to recognize that his administration, so far, has failed the undocumented immigrant community," said Min Hee Cho, an undocumented community leader with HANA Center. "He has used people like me as pawns in political games instead of regarding us as real people with real lives at stake. He and the Democrats have failed us, but it is not too late. During the State of the Union I expect him to address immigrant communities directly and call on his fellow Democrats, who still hold majorities in Congress, to pass a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US."


"Tonight I expect President Biden to lay out his plan to fulfill his campaign promises to not only deliver a pathway to citizenship, but also diminish the power that ICE has over our immigrant communities," said Jazmin Cerda, with Brighton Park Neighborhood Council. "Here in Illinois, we've done so much to fight ICE and stop immigrant detention by passing the Illinois Way Forward Act. Yet just last weekend, one of our Brighton Park community members was taken into detention by ICE. We know that our families can continue to be separated until President Biden takes executive action. So, tonight, I ask him: What is your plan?"


“Tonight, as President Biden addresses the nation, he must make mention of his administration’s horrific, disparate treatment of Black immigrants within the immigration enforcement system,” said Fasika Alem, programs director with United African Organization. “We want to hear that addressing immigration enforcement is a priority for the President and his administration. This includes the end of deportations for Black immigrants to the harms they were fleeing in the first place, as well as an immediate designation of TPS for Cameroon.”


“El crédito tributario federal por hijos fue un gran beneficio para mi familia y fue un salvavidas el año pasado, pero el crédito terminó antes de que terminara la pandemia”, dijo Sandra, líder comunitaria de Mujeres Latinas en Accion. “Quiero escuchar al presidente Biden esta noche sobre cómo él y el Congreso continuarán apoyando a las familias de todos los estados mientras tratamos de recuperarnos de la pandemia.”


“The federal child tax credit was a huge benefit to my family and it was a lifesaver the past year, but the credit ended before the pandemic has,” said Sandra, a community leader with Mujeres Latinas en Accion. “I want to hear from President Biden tonight about how he and Congress will continue supporting families of all statuses as we try to recover from the pandemic.”


ICIRR members will continue to push President Biden and his administration to keep their promises to immigrant communities. On Thursday, ICIRR members will participate in the Communities Not Cages Day of Action calling for an end to immigrant detention. ICIRR members will also be participating in a day of action on May 1, with details to be announced.


Various ICIRR spokespeople are available for comment regarding community expectations for the State of the Union. Please contact Brandon Lee at blee@icirr.org or 773-259-5288 to book an interview.

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