New York, NY, January 21, 2021 — As Joe Biden is inaugurated as 46th President of the United States, the IRC applauds the measures he enacted to restore American leadership after four years of US retreat from the global stage. The IRC applauds President Joe Biden’s ‘Day 1’ measures, including:
- A sweeping immigration bill presented to Congress: The Biden Administration’s effort to provide a pathway for status and security for 11 million immigrants that already live, work, pay taxes, and contribute to American communities helps transition America back to competent and humane leadership. The Biden Administration's bill also envisions the provision of greater funding for refugee and immigrant integration and citizenship, greater protection for border communities and individuals in CBP custody, greater capacity and funding for immigration courts and legal orientation, as well as a much-needed surge in aid to Central America to help make life safe and livable in the region. The Trump Administration left an unsafe, unfair and broken asylum system that criminalises asylum-seekers at the US border. The IRC has a concrete step-by-step road map for the new Administration to undo the damage wrought and restore humanity and order at the US Southern border.
- Preserving and Fortifying Protections for Dreamers: The Biden administration is taking concrete action - including calling on Congress to enact legislation providing permanent status and a path to citizenship - to restore hope for the 800,000 DACA recipients who call this country home, many of whom are IRC clients.
- Reversing the Travel Bans: The multiple travel bans issued by the Trump administration - also known as the Muslim Ban due to their disproportionate impact on Muslim-majority countries - have needlessly kept families separated and unable to reach safe haven in the US. From the first iteration of the Travel and the Refugee Ban to the administration’s ‘Zero Tolerance’ and ‘Remain in Mexico’ policies, the IRC has been serving the vulnerable groups bearing the brunt of the Trump administration’s harmful policies.
- A recommitment to the Paris Climate Agreement and the World Health Organization: IRC’s teams around the world have seen how the climate crisis is a threat multiplier when it comes to conflict, hunger and the forced movement of people. With millions of lives and livelihoods on the line, the cost of failure in protecting and regenerating nature is already too high. American leadership is also sorely needed to fight COVID-19 at home and abroad: IRC also applauds the Biden administration for reviving the US’ longstanding commitment to the World Health Organization, as well as committing to helping reform the organisation, and to support the global COVID-19 response as well as wider global health security.
David Miliband, the President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee said:
“The IRC applauds the important actions taken by the Biden Administration on the first day of office, and looks forward to working with him and his team to renew the US as the world’s most inclusive, welcoming society and a place of refuge for those fleeing violence and persecution. The President has made clear that America will not turn its back on vulnerable populations - and America as well as the world is better for this commitment.
“These measures lay the foundation for urgent action to address the accumulated backlog of individuals marginalised by Trump-era policies within both the asylum system and the refugee resettlement program. We look forward to an increase in the number of refugees allowed into America, in line with the commitment to a nearly ten-fold increase from the last year of President Trump, alongside policies for diplomacy and development that tackle the refugee crisis at source.”
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 29 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue-uk.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.