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MEDIA CONTACT Romelo Wilson;; 202-714-4178

WASHINGTON – Faith and immigrant justice leaders from across the country are welcoming President Joe Biden’s decision to provide a pathway to citizenship for the spouses of U.S. citizens. 

The program, which offers work permits and deportation protections to the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have been in the country for at least a decade, is one of the largest immigrant initiatives seen since the implementation of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

In a statement, Omar Perez, immigrant justice director at Faith in Action, noted that the program is a significant step in the direction of safeguarding immigrants: “President Biden’s new immigration initiative delivers a long-awaited alternative pathway to citizenship, addressing the frustrations caused by backlogs and inconsistent protections. Immigrants who have lived and contributed to the U.S. for over a decade are finally witnessing a policy change that acknowledges their invaluable role and protects their future. Despite the constant threats from lawmakers, this initiative allows immigrants to formally establish the lives they’ve tirelessly built. This program is not just a policy change; it is a lifeline to families who have lived in fear of deportation, despite their deep roots and contributions to our society. It sends a powerful message that America values its immigrant community and recognizes the sacrifices and hard work they have put into making this country thrive.”

DACA recipient Nanci Palacios, deputy director of Faith in Florida, applauded the initiative’s efforts to value and protect immigrants: “It is integral that we continue to find ways for immigrants to have a pathway toward citizenship. These individuals are invested in building a prosperous future for the U.S., and it’s time for our government to invest in their future too. This new program is a small step in the right direction.  I urge the Biden administration to expand this program and other  policies that honor the commitment and potential of every immigrant who dreams of contributing to America’s success. By embracing and supporting these immigrants, we are upholding our nation’s values and ensuring a brighter, more inclusive future for all.”