Category Archives: Immigration

On Immigration, Be Angry For the Right Reasons

Sadly, U.S. Immigration Policy Has No Shortage of Outrages

Ronnate Asirwatham
September 15, 2022

Tune in any news outlet with a right-wing editorial slant, and it won’t be long before you encounter stories, narratives being pushed, of activities at the U.S.-Mexico border intended to frighten or enrage you, the viewer. This could be how drug seizures are depicted as if the government is somehow not doing its job, or it could be the dehumanizing portrayal of men and women seeking asylum in this country as some kind of threat to the safety of people living in the United States.

The racism, xenophobia, and fear-mongering wrapped up in these narratives are a gross misuse of the responsibilities held by the media. Their job is to inform, not to poison people’s minds with distortions and misinformation. But what’s also really tragic here is that, when it comes to immigration and issues at the border, there are plenty of issues that are worthy of our rage! But that rage is misplaced time and again, as a result of campaigns based on fear, not compassion.

The real issues worth being mad about are the result of a very deep hole the U.S. has dug in recent decades through both inaction on immigration policy and direct action, most notably by the previous presidential administration, to make life somehow even more hellish for some of the most marginalized people in the world — those who’ve fled their homes and countries in hopes of finding peace and security in a new land.

An especially egregious example of this was the previous administration’s March 2020 move to invoke Title 42 of the U.S. Code to prohibit entry of asylum seekers, using the possible spread of COVID-19 as the excuse. This order has been misused for over two years to illegally block migrants at the border, even though public health experts repeatedly declared the order has no true medical basis or justification. Title 42 has resulted in over 1.6 million expulsions of asylum seekers back to harm and over 10,000 incidents of kidnapping, torture, rape, and other violent attacks against migrant people.

No court in the United States has yet said the policy itself is legal, as legal challenges so far have only upheld it from the standpoint of administrative practice and capacity. The Immigration and Nationality Act says that seeking asylum is legal no matter how you cross the border.

As Joan F. Neal, NETWORK’s deputy executive director and chief equity officer, has noted: “Seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. The continuation of unjust, immoral Title 42 expulsions dishonors the God-given dignity of migrants and violates the internationally-recognized right to seek asylum. We must restore asylum at our southern border.

Delays by the current administration in rescinding this policy prompted more than 80 Catholic Sisters from across the U.S. to come to Washington last December. Carrying signs and praying, they marched past the White House, demanding an end to this racist policy. When President Biden finally moved to rescind Title 42 expulsions this spring, a federal judge issued an injunction blocking the administration’s action.

The inability to rise above our dysfunctional immigration policies is also worth people’s anger. Administration after administration, Congress after Congress, has failed to pass meaningful immigration reform, despite the fact that they have the power to bring millions out of the shadows and into the recognition of their dignity as citizens. Bishops and popes have called for these very policies — whether some version of the DREAM Act for people who entered the U.S. as children or comprehensive reform that provides a path to full inclusion and participation in society for everyone. Rather than recognizing the power they have to affect transformation of so many people’s lives, our leaders have squandered this opportunity, instead allowing our politics and society to indulge the lies of racism and white supremacy.

Christians should allow their hearts to be broken open by the plights of the people who think that, for all its flaws, the U.S. is still somewhere they want to make a home. We could build something beautiful, an inclusive future for our immigrant neighbors in this country, in which everyone’s contributions are valued and rewarded — if we just let the right things make us angry.

Biden Administration Restored Pre-Trump Era Public Charge Regulations

The Biden Administration Restored Pre-Trump Era Public Charge Regulations (And Makes an Improvement)

Biden Administration Restored Pre-Trump Era Public Charge Regulations

On Friday, September 9, 2022, The Biden Administration restored pre-Trump era public charge regulations when the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final public charge regulation that provides critical protections to secure immigrant families’ access to health and social services. This is a welcome update to the policy shift (flagged in March 2021) made to public charge regulations instituted in 2019 under the Trump administration

“The 2019 public charge rule was not in keeping with our nation’s values. It penalized those who access health benefits and other government services available to them,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. (DHS)

The Trump administration upended public charge rules that had existed for 20 years prior to their one term in office. Their changes were not consistent with Catholic Social Justice or NETWORK’s Build Anew Agenda, That administration considered noncash public benefits, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid, or housing assistance, in applications for green cards or temporary visas. immigrant persons, families, and children.

The Biden administration’s reversal not only restores the policy to the pre-Trump era, it also includes an improvement sought by more than 1,000 organizations coordinated by the Protecting Immigrant Families coalition (PIF): DHS will not consider use of health care, nutrition, or housing programs when making immigration decisions. NETWORK Lobby is in the PIF coalition.

Reacting to the publication of the final public charge regulation, PIF issued the following statement:

“The final Biden public charge regulation is a major win for immigrant families. We know that anti-immigrant politicians will attack this reform through partisan litigation, but there are solid grounds for a court to uphold the rule. The new rule clarifies what is and is not considered in a public charge determination, providing assurances that eligible immigrant families can use health care, nutrition, and housing programs without public charge concerns.

“The more than 600 members of the PIF coalition are emboldened in our broader fight to repeal provisions in immigration law that are racist and discriminate against low-income people of color. Congress must strike public charge from the law and eliminate other barriers to the health and social services safety net. We will continue to push our leaders for action.” (PIF director, Adriana Cadena)

Note: This DHS decision was met with broad support by House Leadership. Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) applauded the Biden Administration’s final rule restoring longstanding policy on the treatment of noncitizens seeking government assistance.

Additional background

The Trump-era regulations had a chilling effect on immigrants, causing many fearful to reach out for public assistance. An Urban Institute study examined immigrant families living with children under the age of 19 under the Trump policy in a Well-Being and Basic Needs Survey. The study found a significant preference to avoid health and social services benefits in order not to jeopardize their immigration application. This, of course, compromised their safety and well-being (and that of their children)–especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

One in 5 adults in immigrant families with children (20.0 percent) and almost 3 in 10 of those in low-income immigrant families with children (28.8 percent) reported that they or a family member avoided one or more noncash public benefits or other help with basic needs in 2020 because of concerns about green card status or other immigration-related reasons. (Urban Institute)

Learn more with these resources:

Sign-on to Help Protect Asylum Seekers

Encourage Senators Booker and Menendez to Continue Advocating for Asylum Seekers!

Dear Senator Booker and Senator Menendez,

Thank you for supporting a just and humane immigration system. We, people of faith living in New Jersey, support your efforts to ensure the Senate and the Biden administration restore the asylum process.

Your work to protect asylum is important to us because as people of faith, we value the inherent human dignity of each person and recognize their right to seek asylum.

The upcoming congressional work period will be pivotal for immigration. As Congress creates next year’s federal budget, we urge you to continue working to ensure that Congressional leadership does not allow the continuation of Title 42 expulsions to be codified into law. We also ask that you urge your colleagues working on bipartisan immigration reform to support policies that are just and refuse to divide up or preference immigrant communities.

Thank you for your commitment to advancing the common good. Together, we can build a nation that lives up to our values.

In Solidarity,

New Jersey Residents – Add Your Name

A Decade of DACA: Haziel’s Story

A Decade of DACA: Haziel’s Story

Haziel A.
June 15, 2022

At the age of three, I arrived in the United States with my aunt, grandparents, and older sister from La Paz, Bolivia. It was 2001 and my parents were not able to come with us due to a restriction in visa approvals after the 9/11 attacks, and their visas were denied for the next four years. I recall moments when I missed my parents and did not understand why we had to be apart. I eventually grew accustomed to not having my parents around.

Although I do not remember my parents outwardly telling me that I was undocumented, there were three instances when I realized that I was, in fact, undocumented and felt the repercussions of being undocumented. The first time was when I wanted to go on class trips in elementary school outside of the country and could not. The second time was when I saw my older sister, who is also undocumented, struggle to get through high school and college. The third one was when my father was detained by ICE at a traffic stop as he was coming home from work one night and taken to Farmville Detention Center. In 2012, I was 14 and Obama took executive action and announced that DACA would be enacted in Washington, D.C. I remember watching the announcement on TV feeling a sense of relief that I would not have to endure the struggles that my sister, my dad, and the community around me did.

Fast forward a decade to today, I recently graduated college from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems. I have also gotten my driver’s license and have been able to apply and accept work in my field and moving constantly toward my dream job. While DACA has been able to secure me during my upbringing, the future of DACA is still and always will be at stake due to the fact that it is not a permanent protection. There are many things that I wish I had known growing up, one of them being that the looming uncertainty I have felt my entire life was caused by the fact that even when there was a “solution” presented by the government, it was never a permanent one. My dream for the future of this country is to repair and rebuild from the ground up as a collective to bring about real solutions in our flawed systems that do not feel like just Band-Aids. I believe that my family and our communities deserve to contribute and exist peacefully as we have always done even in the midst of all the disruption and chaos. Although DACA has given me many opportunities that I will forever be grateful for, for many, it is also a gatekeeping Band-Aid solution and a constant reminder to 825,000 of us that our undocumented communities are not wanted. It is ultimately a temporary solution to an even greater problem that this country needs to fully address.

Name abbreviated for anonymity. 

A Decade of DACA: Cecilia’s Story

A Decade of DACA: Cecilia’s Story

Cecilia Y.
June 14, 2022

As a child, we don’t see the world as it is. A child’s worries are not always the same as an adult’s. For some children, their worries may be getting a new toy, wondering what they’ll have for lunch, or even with whom they will play. For other children, their worries are wondering what their parents look like, where and with whom they sleep that night, or even worrying about their safety, security, shelter, and food. As a six-year-old, I had the same worries as the latter. I immigrated from El Salvador to live with my parents in the U.S. at this age. I left behind my family and friends I grew up with.

My parents were immigrants themselves, and we were constantly worried that if anything happened, anyone of us could be deported back to El Salvador. My parents worked jobs such as being a construction worker, doing house cleaning, and being a restaurant worker. All this was done so that in the future, I could receive the education they could not achieve.

Coming to the U.S. was a difficult transition. I went to public school, where I learned how to speak English and helped others from other Spanish-speaking countries learn English, too. My joy in helping others began in elementary school and continues growing. I dreamed of helping others and supporting their dreams. I wanted to go to college so that I could obtain a degree that would allow me to be a teacher to teach, support, and care for children. Being a DACA recipient has made all of this possible.

In high school, I was afraid I wouldn’t go to college because I would have to pay out-of-state tuition, but DACA made it possible for me to search for organizations that support Dreamers in their educational journey. I was able to go to college and pay in-state tuition. During my time in college, I was financially helping my family. DACA allowed me to work at a part-time job. Now that I have graduated from college with a degree in Elementary Education, I can work at a school and help and support students in their learning and social development.

Until this day, I continue to worry about what will happen if my DACA is rejected. I worry that I will no longer be able to impact many students’ lives. I worry that I will be deported back to El Salvador even after I have made a life here in the U.S. I worry about the lives of those children who will lose their families and homes because they will no longer be able to work in their everyday jobs. My dream for the future of our country is to take that worry away from all those children and their families. Permanent protection for Dreamers will ensure they continue to make an impact in others’ lives, and it will provide protection for their families and for generations to come.

Name abbreviated for anonymity. 

Hundreds of Miles of Wall and Two Years of Title 42 Later: Are We Any Better Off?

Hundreds of Miles of Wall and Two Years of Title 42 Later: Are We Any Better Off?

Julia Morris
May 9, 2022

“Title 42 is a policy failure plain and simple. It does nothing to stop COVID from being spread and by circumventing immigration law it actually goes against the principles on which our country was founded.
Ending it was the right decision”
– Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)

A Trump appointed federal judge ordered a two week hold on the phasing out of the Title 42 expulsion policy, raising doubts about the Biden administration’s ability to restore asylum on May 23.

As Pope Francis said, “[T]housands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities. Is this not what we want for our own children? We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation … Let us remember the Golden Rule: ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.’” (Papal address to the United States Congress, 9/24/15.)

Faith and secular border reception agencies are ready to receive asylum seekers and hope that Congress and the Administration will treat them as partners in this journey so that they can provide the best service to our siblings at the border. Rather than fall victim to anti-immigrant rhetoric, we have an opportunity now to live up to our values and show compassion.

Title 42 is a death sentence for these vulnerable asylum seekers. At its core, Title 42 is an obscure public health law weaponized advance cruel, xenophobic immigration policies under the guise of public health.

We know how to curb COVID-19: vaccines, masking, and social distancing. A xenophobic and selective ban on individuals and families fleeing harm only undermines public trust in federal institutions like the CDC.

We can protect public safety without turning away vulnerable families coming to this country for a better life.

Join NETWORK activists in restoring the right to asylum, email Congress now!

Two Years of the Immoral Misuse of Title 42: Virtual Day of Action

Two Years of the Immoral Misuse of Title 42: Virtual Day of Action

Ronnate Asirwatham
March 21, 2022
Watch the Livestream at 1:00 PM Eastern/10:00 AM Pacific

March 21, 2022 marks two years since President Trump authorized Title 42, a racist, inhumane policy with no medical basis that turns migrants and asylum seekers away at our country’s Southern border. Since President Biden came into office, NETWORK’s community of justice-seekers and our partners have repeatedly called on his administration to end the misuse of Title 42 and restore asylum — to no avail.

Last week, President Biden ended Title 42 expulsions for unaccompanied children. While this is a small win, it makes no sense to say unaccompanied children don’t bring disease, but children with families do. President Biden needs to follow science and allow the CDC to end the Title 42 expulsion policy for all immigrants at our Southern Border.

Take Action on Social Media

From March 18 to March 21, Kino Border Initiative invites people of faith to pray on social media. Your prayers will lift up a Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) in Nogales, Mexico organized by seven migrants to mark two years of Title 42.

Here’s how to participate: 

  • Wear red and make a sign that says, “Save Asylum! End Title 42!”
  •  Take a photo of yourself or you and your friends
  • Post your photo on the social media platform of your choice, with a prayer

Kino has asked that you name the seven migrants in your prayers. They are: Lisandro, Miriam, Esmeralda, Victor, Manuel, Sarahi, and Rosario. In your post, be sure to tag @NETWORKLobby, @KinoBorder, @POTUS, and use the hashtags #SaveAsylum and #EndTitle42.

President Biden in front of a microphone

Centering Solidarity and Healing for Our Democracy

Centering Solidarity and Healing for Our Democracy

A Response to President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union
Mary J. Novak
March 3, 2022

President Biden in front of a microphoneIn his 2022 State of the Union, President Joe Biden addressed people across the country who are anxious and weary as Vladimir Putin threatens the use of nuclear force in his quest for more power and the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shatter a sense of normalcy, claiming close to one million lives in this country alone. President Biden named the pain felt by families and recommitted himself to supporting policies that benefit all families and communities. This vision is grounded in his faith, which prioritizes community and solidarity over individualism and greed. He illuminated a path forward for our national community, marked by dismantling long-standing racist policies and building both a vibrant economy that prioritizes shared prosperity and a truly representative, multi-racial democracy.

Shaping an Economy Rooted in Solidarity

In this time of increasing economic stratification, President Biden spoke forcefully about the need to reorient our economy with a new economic vision built on respecting and protecting the rights of workers and putting people over profits. Given rising costs facing families, his statement: “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation” likely resonated with many listeners. We know that ensuring jobs pay a living wage is one of the most effective ways we can uphold the dignity of work. I appreciated hearing the President’s call to raise the minimum wage and for the Senate to pass the PRO Act to protect workers’ right to unionize.

Building Anew and Protecting the Sacred Right to Vote

President Biden’s commitments to advancing just policies in NETWORK’s Build Anew policy areas are deeply rooted in the faith values of solidarity, community, respecting the rights of workers, and caring for creation; they include strengthening our democracy and voting rights; making our tax code more just; and, investing in communities by expanding the Child Tax Credit, affordable housing, and healthcare for all. NETWORK strongly supports these efforts to build a more justice union and looks forward to partnering with the Biden administration to achieve these goals. Together, we still have a great amount of work to be done, including passing the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, but we know it is possible by working together.

Confirming a New Supreme Court Justice

Another important step for protecting the rights of everyone in our county will be the Senate voting to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nominee to the Supreme Court Justice. The NETWORK community celebrates Judge Jackson’s nomination and the perspective she will bring to the highest court because of her years of service on the federal district court of D.C. and D.C. Circuit as well as her formative service as a public defender.

Defending the Lives of Immigrants and Asylum Seekers

While we commend President Biden clear commitments to advancing just policies for our economy and democracy, we continue to call on the President to be bold in his defense of asylum seekers at our nation’s Southern border. The President was mindful in his speech about the importance of welcoming refugees fleeing Ukraine. Likewise, we call on the President to meet that mission here. Pope Francis has said each person seeking refuge “has a name, a face and a story, as well as an inalienable right to live in peace and to aspire to a better future.” We ask President Biden to take heed of those words and end the cruel and unjust policies that he is perpetuating at the border, and end detention and deportation.

President Biden, our nation’s second Catholic President, often credits the Jesuits and Catholic Sisters with keeping his faith strong. The vision he laid out in his State of the Union reflects a roadmap to rebuilding solidarity, based in encounter. As President Biden said “We can’t change how divided we’ve been. But we can change how we move forward—on COVID-19 and other issues we must face together.”  If we want to rebuild the soul of the nation, we must rebuild it together, with a broad embrace of our human family.

Unnecessary and Harmful: The Security Bars and Processing Rule

Unnecessary and Harmful: The Security Bars and Processing Rule

Ronnate Asirwatham
February 17, 2022

While the preposterous Title 42 expulsion policy and ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy continue at the border, we are very concerned that the Biden Administration would install yet another Trump Era policy – Security Bars and Processing Rule.

In December 2020, one of the Trump Administration’s last acts on immigration was to propose the Security Bars and Processing Rule to go into effect in 2021. This rule would label asylum seekers a “danger to the national security of the United States” merely because they transited through or come from a country with a communicable disease, or exhibit symptoms “consistent with” such disease. This is ANY communicable disease ranging from the flu, to cholera, to HIV AIDS — not just COVID-19. Under the rule, covered asylum seekers would be barred from refugee protection in the United States. Which violates both U.S. law and international treaty obligations; all but ensuring their deportation to persecution or torture.

The Biden administration extended the period of comment in 2021 so that it didn’t go into effect then. However, now it is closing the comment period on February 28th, and advocates fear that the administration will then work to make the rule permanent.

A plethora of experts have already highlighted grave concerns that this rule is both fatally flawed and “xenophobia masquerading as a public health measure.” In their comments leading public health experts, including at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and School of Nursing, found no public health justification for this sweeping ban. In a comment submitted by Physicians for Human Rights, Dr. Monik Jiménez of Harvard Medical School concluded that the targeting and classification of asylum seekers as a public health threat is “not based on sound epidemiological evidence.” Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders, a humanitarian organization with 50-years’ experience responding to disease outbreaks, characterized the rule as “counterproductive” and noted that “public health measures work best when they are inclusive. They fail when vulnerable people, like migrants and asylum seekers, are excluded.”

As the African Human Rights Coalition commented, the rule “exacerbates racist tropes and myths of immigrants as carriers of disease.” Deeply rooted in eugenics, this ideology echoes throughout this rule. Many LGBTQ groups and HIV advocacy and treatment organizations also expressed alarm that the rule, similar to the discriminatory immigration ban on individuals living with HIV that was finally lifted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2010, would discriminate “against individuals on the basis of immigration status [and the] countries in which the person has lived or traveled” and would put particularly vulnerable populations such as “women, people from the LGBTQ+ community, and people from ethnic or religious minorities at risk.”

The rule violates U.S. law and treaty obligations, including those adopted by Congress through its passage of the Refugee Act of 1980. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus stressed in its comment that the rule would have “devastating and senseless consequences” for asylum seekers and violate the clear intent of Congress, “reiterated over and over for four decades,” “that the United States provide a meaningful and fair path to protection for those fleeing persecution.” The American Bar Association and the Round Table of Former Immigration Judges, a bipartisan group of dozens of former immigration judges, similarly objected to the rule as inconsistent with domestic and international law.

We urge the administration to withdraw this unjustifiable, illegal, and harmful rule. The Departments have repeatedly paused the rule’s implementation due to ongoing litigation against a related regulation and as they are “reviewing and reconsidering” the rule and “whether to modify or rescind” it. The Departments now request comment on whether to further delay implementation. Ample time to study the legality and impact this baseless ban would have on asylum seekers has already elapsed. There is no need for additional delay. The administration can and must swiftly and completely rescind the rule.

Comment here to join our call for the Administration to rescind the Security Bars and Processing Rule.

A Catholic President at One Year

A Catholic President at One Year

Mary J. Novak
January 20, 2022

In January 2021, NETWORK celebrated the historic inauguration of the United States’ second Catholic President and first female Vice President “heartened by the administration’s focus on racial equity and economic justice.” Let us take a closer look at how their leadership has lived up to our values of Catholic Social Justice.

The first year of the Biden administration has largely been a series of responses to the crises that surfaced during the previous administration. These included the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent economic downturn, racist policies enacted at the U.S.-Mexico border, and growing distrust in our elections, which has led to the passage of restrictive voting legislation across the country.

In March 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan – a $1.9 trillion COVID relief package – into law. It provided relief to families in the form of healthcare, rental assistance, housing vouchers, access to food programs, and other benefits. It also expanded Child Tax Credit payments and made the credit fully refundable, meaning that families most struggling from poverty had access to monthly payments of cash through December of last year.

The expansion of the Child Tax Credit in the American Rescue Plan was an incredible achievement, providing millions of families funds that they used for necessities including housing, food, clothing, utilities, and education, and living up to NETWORK’s values of supporting families’ economic security. However, if the credit’s refundability is allowed to expire this March, 65 million kids will pay the price.

The passage of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act last November – with its investments in broadband internet, climate-friendly public transit, and clean water –  was an important step toward building our country anew. Unfortunately, the Build Back Better Act – the administration’s landmark proposal to invest our nation’s families and communities – has stalled in the Senate. So have efforts to protect voting rights, which President Biden said should be passed even if it required a Senate rules change in the form of altering or eliminating the filibuster. Given the filibuster’s racist history, NETWORK fully supports this call.

A major disappointment for the NETWORK community has been President Biden’s failure to roll back the previous administration’s cruel and xenophobic border policies: the Migrant Protection Protocols and the misuse of Title 42. Under these measures and in violation of international law, asylum seekers are either expelled from the U.S. without being allowed to claim asylum or being turned away and told to wait in Mexico while they await their pending court dates. Both of these policies are resulting in assaults and significant harm against our siblings seeking asylum.

In solidarity with migrant-led organizations, President Biden’s continuation of these unjust border policies brought over 80 Catholic Sisters to Washington in early December to process prayerfully past the White House to protest these policies. In 2022, President Biden must significantly shift his administration’s border policies to align with our faith teaching to “love our neighbor.”

Every year of our 50-year existence, NETWORK has analyzed the voting records of Members of Congress, but we have never reflected on one year of a Catholic president’s administration. This is certainly a significant milestone for Catholic justice-seekers, even as the lived reality has included both progress and setbacks for our justice agenda.

President Biden has credited Jesuits and Catholic Sisters with keeping him Catholic, and he has taken office at a time when the vision of a Jesuit – Pope Francis – and the witness of Catholic Sisters offer him a roadmap to rebuilding solidarity, based in encounter. NETWORK advocates for policies that center people who have been pushed to the margins by our systems and structures. And Pope Francis calls us, individually and at the structural level, to seek out, encounter, and integrate those living on the periphery.

Joe Biden is the son of a working class Catholic family who prides himself on remembering his roots. The clear moral measure for his administration going forward is whether it has prioritized the struggles of individuals and families over powerful interests, whether at the border, the ballot box, or simply their day-to-day efforts to stay safe and healthy.

Transforming our politics from a system that upholds the status quo to one that honors the dignity of every person requires dismantling systemic racism, cultivating inclusive communities, and rooting our economy in solidarity. One year into the Biden administration, we can see with greater clarity than ever just how daunting these challenges are and how much work we have to do. We call on President Biden to join us in this necessary transformation.