This slightly edited statement was issued by Fight for Im/migrants and Refugees Everywhere (FIRE) March 29. Go to https://fightformigrants.org/ or email: [email protected] for more information.
We say to Biden and the Democratic Party: You owe the immigrant movement. It is now or never.
When thousands of people took to the streets the day Joe Biden was confirmed as president, many im/migrants and their advocates joined them. Activists and organizers were buoyed by the win, mainly because it was a defeat of Trump.
But they were not duped. Everyone knew that the victory was small, but important for all those languishing in detention cells, waiting in dire conditions at the border or living in fear in this country.
The struggle is far from over, however, as the deportations of Black immigrants has shown.
Migrant groups and the Latinx movement mobilized in record numbers for the 2020 election. It was a historical turnout. It was not because they were looking for a “savior,” but rather because they picked “a target.”
This “target” must now step up. A defeat of Trump was a step forward, because it signaled some relief for migrants. But the struggle for legalization, abolishing ICE and closing detention centers, is far from over.
FIRE is committed to joining organizers in the struggle to not only undo Trumpism, but to fight for the demands we have been raising since 2006.
FIRE calls on the Biden/Harris administration to do the following:
- DACA youth should receive immediate legalization. End the uncertainty now.
- Stop the deportations now, especially of Black immigrants.
- Justice for Cameroonian migrants tortured, deported by ICE.
- Immediate asylum for all victims of U.S. intervention abroad!
- Abolish ICE, abolish the police.
- Close the detention centers; end mass incarceration, stop criminalizing Black and Brown people.
- Justice for the women migrants forcibly sterilized at Irwin Detention Center;
- Reparations for climate refugees;
- Open the borders; close the jails; and
- Reunite the families separated by ICE with compensation for trauma.
FIRE urges the solidarity movement, unions, the antiwar and all progressive movements to continue to join the fight for im/migrant rights.
Trump was ousted but his legacy in ICE lives on. Now more than ever we cannot leave migrant youth alone to battle for a besieged community.