Today, the new administration proposed the U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021, a sweeping immigration bill that includes provisions to restore asylum and humanitarian protections for individuals fleeing unimaginable persecution, including survivors of gender-based violence. Key provisions include the elimination of a stringent one-year deadline to file asylum claims and funding to tackle asylum application backlogs. The bill will also raise the cap for U visas, a visa for victims of crime, from 10,000 to 30,000.
Additionally, the administration announced a host of executive orders to protect immigrant communities and survivors of violence, such as an extended eviction moratorium and a repeal of 2017 policies that increased arrests and deportations of all immigrants, which stoked the climate of fear and endangered immigrant survivors in need of safety.
“We applaud the new administration’s first actions that will help rebuild bridges to justice for immigrant survivors,” said Archi Pyati, Tahirih Chief of Policy and Communications. “These policies are a step in the right direction to help survivors access lifesaving protections to which they are legally entitled. However, there is still a long road ahead of us to build a just and humane immigration system and create a world where all immigrant survivors of gender-based violence live in safety. We will continue to hold the administration accountable to ensure that immigrant survivors are protected.”
Last year, Tahirih presented the incoming administration with specific steps it can take— even without Congress— to undo numerous harmful immigration policies that have devastated lives and torn apart families. Tahirih will continue to urge the new administration to take these actions quickly.
Archi Pyati is available for comment on this topic. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview.