FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 20, 2021
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Faith in Action, LA RED Campaign: day one action on immigration by President Biden is a “promising start.”
WASHINGTON – Faith leaders and community organizers across the country welcomed the new Biden-Harris administration, pledging to continue advocating for justice and equity. In statements following the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, leaders with Faith in Action, the largest faith-based grassroots organizing network, and its LA RED campaign, praised the new president’s actions on day one, calling the proposed sweeping immigration reform package a promising start:
“As we welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris, today is a starting point from which we as a nation will move forward to achieve racial justice, secure compassionate immigration reform, create a criminal justice system rooted in dignity, and remove the far-too-many barriers to voting,” said the Rev. Alvin Herring, executive director of Faith in Action. “We have the opportunity before us to respond to the great moral challenges of our time. We must use every tool in our toolbox and our considerable energies across all avenues to create a country that is inclusive and celebrates the diversity of its residents.”
“While today’s executive actions and the sweeping proposed legislation marks a promising start to the Biden-Harris administration, we stand alongside DREAMers, undocumented essential workers and all immigrants with hope and pledge to hold our elected leaders from the Oval Office to Capitol Hill accountable to turn this proposal into law,” said Richard Morales, political director of Faith in Action and director of the LA RED campaign. “A moratorium on deportations is essential as a new, just immigration system is built and a path to citizenship is solidified for the 11 million members of our community who deserve to live without the fear of being torn from their families or barred from basic freedoms. We will continue to fight for our immigrant families and look forward to Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer prioritizing our community in the early days of this administration.”
“President Biden’s executive actions and legislative proposal bring an overwhelming sense of hope to myself and fellow DACA recipients who have been advocating for a path to citizenship for years,” said Nanci Palacios, deputy director for Faith in Florida, who is a DACA recipient. “We will continue to fight for our community until this legislation is made law and the immigrants and undocumented essential workers who have kept America running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic can receive the same relief and support from the government as all Americans.”
“President Biden’s pledge to tackle the root causes of migration from Central America is a welcome sign of hope for a region that has been battered by climate change, the pandemic and years of failed efforts to criminalize migrants and militarize borders,” said the Rev. Vidal Rivas, pastor of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Hyattsville, MD, and clergy leader with Faith in Action. “Conditioning aid on fighting corruption at the highest levels of society would make a big difference in addressing the poverty and environmental destruction that force so many people to leave home.”
Faith in Action played a key role in mobilizing historic numbers of Black and Brown voters to the polls this past November across its campaigns and through its Rise + Vote initiative, a comprehensive voter education, registration, and mobilization campaign that reached more than 2 million voters in an effort to encourage communities often politically redlined to turn out to the polls.
“Black Americans, Indigenous people and voters, organizers and strategists of color, especially Black women, are why we’re able to welcome President Biden and Vice President Harris today,” said Andrea Marta, chief strategy officer of Faith in Action, who led the Rise + Vote initiative. “The president’s speech today emphasized the structural racism that his administration must work to dismantle. The pathway to citizenship in his proposed immigration reform package and many of his executive actions today are the first step in prioritizing the communities that have been overlooked throughout our history and who were critical in securing his victory this past November.”
Now, with a new administration under way, the organization is advocating to:
- End the mass incarceration, mass detention, and mass deportation of Black and Brown people by the defunding and divesting of the systems and institutions that criminalize and cage human beings;
- Repair the harm done to Black and Brown communities in the form of investment in violence reduction, reparations and economic development in directly impacted communities;
- Build a caring economy based on principles of abundance and the dignity of each and every person, especially those most impacted and excluded by our nation’s ongoing history of racism, xenophobia, colonization and economic exploitation;
- Guarantee and protect the right to vote for everyone, and;
- Address the devastation COVID-19 has left in its wake at the state and federal level by ensuring COVID-19 relief packages are equitable, and not excluding immigrants, those incarcerated or any other members of our communities.
Faith in Action, formerly known as PICO National Network, is the largest grassroots, faith-based organizing network in the United States. The nonpartisan organization works with 1,000 religious congregations in more than 200 cities and towns through its 46 local and state federations. For more information, visit www.faithinaction.org.
Faith in Action is a 501c(3). Faith in Action and its affiliates are non-partisan and are not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office.