Press Release: LAWG: Mixed Reviews for First 100 Days of Biden’s Policies towards Central America/Mexico & Immigrants, Deeper Transformation Still Needed

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Date: Apr 29, 2021

Contact: Lauri Alvarez, Program Associate, (202)-546-7010

LAWG: Mixed Reviews for First 100 Days of Biden’s Policies towards Central America/Mexico & Immigrants, Deeper Transformation Still Needed

Washington D.C.—On President Biden’s 100th day in office, the Latin America Working Group (LAWG) states that more action is needed to begin a transformation of U.S. policies towards Latin America and immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. LAWG issued recommendations to the Biden administration urging a shift to U.S. policy towards Latin America and the Caribbean away from a sole focus on migration to a new approach based in peace, human rights, equitable development, and humanitarian protection. LAWG also led and joined two NGO letters with recommendations on a path forward for U.S. foreign and migration policy towards the northern countries of Central America. Yesterday in his address to Congress, President Biden mentioned the need to advance a pathway to citizenship for the Dreamers, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) beneficiaries and farmworkers as well as the need to address the root causes of migration in Central America.

On President Biden’s 100th day in office, LAWG co-directors observe:

“The United States must offer immediate relief to Central Americans harmed by two hurricanes and the pandemic. We welcome the announcement of $310 million in humanitarian aid, though it needs to get there quickly,” said Lisa Haugaard.  “But the real game-changer will be a long-term focus to press governments to end corruption, respect rights, and serve their people.  Our government must visibly stand with the citizens seeking to build more just societies.  We see some positive first steps–like sanctions on corrupt Guatemalan officials and Vice President Harris’s dialogue with Guatemalan civil society leaders. Biden and Harris should keep their eyes on the prize and keep this up.”  

“We recognize President Biden’s initial, positive steps to undo the harms to immigrants and asylum seekers from the Trump Administration. But more must be done. We encourage the Biden Administration to end Title 42 expulsions, process those arriving at our border safely and humanely, and welcome refugees from around the world. We also urge President Biden to issue TPS for Haiti and Central American countries—from which citizens are currently fleeing because of political instability and natural disasters. With TPS, those in the United States could live without fear of deportation and be able to support their families abroad. The Biden Administration must take these actions and more in the next 100 days to live up to its campaign promise to protect immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees,” states Daniella Burgi-Palomino, LAWG co-director.