Although the Biden administration seeks to remedy discriminatory travel bans and reunite families that were separated by policies put in place by the prior administration, its failure to rescind nonimmigrant and immigrant visa bans that are based on false premises from the Trump administration directly undermines these goals. In fact, it essentially keeps out individuals from Muslim-majority and African nations, while keeping immigrant and nonimmigrant families separated for even longer. Importantly, failure to terminate these travel bans could end the opportunity for all 2020 diversity visa holders to enter the United States. The people deserve better.
Along with our partners, we have been litigating against these bans for months. They are contrary to law and based on false premises about foreign nationals and their family members. They do not recognize Congress’ intent to reunify families, promote diversity, and assist the needs of our dynamic workforce. Former president Trump used the excuse of a pandemic to undermine our nation’s prosperity and separate families via these bans. Sadly, President Biden seems willing to allow this to continue.
I’m hurt and frustrated for those who have suffered so much from our former President and expected much more from our new leader. “Immigration Day” should have been a day for them to celebrate the the end of these xenophobic policies. Instead, it was a day of question and doubt about the resolve of the new administration. While we cannot celebrate with our litigation plaintiffs and all of those affected by the inhumane and unnecessary bans, we can and will continue to fight against these unlawful policies.
Our plaintiffs are real people. Carmen, who was forced to give birth to her first child alone, without the support of her husband, and who has been raising their baby for five months without him, still has not had her despair turn to hope. Nazif, whose wife was separated from him and prevented from coming to the United States to start her master’s program at Cornell University, is still being harmed every day by the ban.
The thousands of other families, employers, and individuals who suffered unnecessarily when Trump put these bans into place are STILL SUFFERING and will continue to suffer unless the Biden administration takes swift and decisive action to end their misery.
After months of waiting and being blocked by these unnecessary bans, immigrants and workers from around the world looked to President Biden for hope and change. He rescinded the Muslim and Africa bans on Day One, but without rescinding the other bans, the commitments he made are unfulfilled.
Allowing these bans to stay in place, when President Biden has the power to overturn them immediately, is a gut punch, to our plaintiffs and to our economy. The people of the world are watching.