Immigrant advocates have expressed dissatisfaction with President Biden’s administration and its cautious use of executive power to issue work permits to immigrants. Despite efforts to reverse the Trump administration’s policies, like the Temporary Protected Status (TPS), critics argue that progress is too slow and blame is unfairly placed on Congress for inaction on immigration.
“So this line about waiting for Congress — we cannot wait. That ship has sailed. The only relief that can be offered to the immigrant community now is through the administration,” Jossie Flor Sapunar, a spokesperson for advocacy group CASA, told The Hill.
The Biden administration’s stance has resulted in a divided immigrant advocacy community, with Democrats warning against the potential adverse effects. Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) has emphasized the need for collective responsibility and collaboration among Congress, the executive branch, localities, and states.
Advocacy groups have pointed out that the president could make better use of TPS, which protects nationals of countries in crisis from deportation. They are pushing for Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to re-designate El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Nepal for TPS, as well as Guatemala and Venezuela. This move would substantially increase the number of people protected by the program.
While some progress has been made, like the extension of the registration period for Ramos countries from 60 days to 18 months, advocates are concerned that the Biden administration lacks the same urgency for immigration relief that was seen in the Trump administration’s restrictive policies.
In August, a group of 24 advocacy organizations urged Mayorkas and Attorney General Merrick Garland to utilize two lesser-known immigration provisions to aid mixed-status families. However, these measures are considered only small steps towards their ultimate goal: citizenship for 11 million people.
Read more at The Hill.