Where Do We Go From Here?

November 4, 2020

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Immigration and the 2020 Election

From the desk of Zenobia Lai, HILSC Executive Director

This has been a year like no other.

The world has been besieged by the novel Corona virus

Many lives have been upended.

This has also been a stressful election season.

Come what may,


  • Restore our role as the lead humanitarian nation of the world
  • Reset the annual refugee resettlement quota to a minimum of 120,000
    • War, climate change, civil strife, famine, & disease have doubled the number of people displaced from their home in the past decade to nearly 80 million people, the United States should step up to give refugees a home
    • Instead of cutting the number of refugees to resettle to a 40-year low of 15,000 for FY2021, the U.S. should match its pace set in 1980 to resettle 220,000 refugees
  • Honor the UNHCR vetting process
  • Allow asylum filing  at the border, no more unlawful metering or “Remain in Mexico”
  • Restore established law protecting  victims of targeted violence and domestic abuse
  • Return American asylum law in  comport with international law and codify protections for persons fleeing from modern crises
  • Remove unreasonable time-line for filing asylum
  • Reunite migrant children taken from their families at the border
  • Confer trafficking victim protections to separated children and their families under the T visa program
  • Protect child victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment, give them deferred action pending visa availability for special immigrant juvenile status
  • Dismantle the child detention system
  • Welcome long-term residents into the American family
    • Create a pathway to citizenship for DREAMERS
    • Advance the date for registry, allow long-term residents to become permanent residents
    • Allow holders of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to adjust to lawful permanent residents
  • Confer immigration status to the tens of thousands of essential workers who:
    • Take care of those sickened by COVID-19 and other illnesses and diseases
    • Harvest fruits and vegetables, tend the livestock, cut and pack meat, trim the overgrowth
    • Build homes and repair houses, critical infrastructures, roads, and office towers
    • Stock supermarkets, staff check-out lines and sanitize shopping carts
    • Pick up trash, provide critical social and legal services
  • Immigration infractions are civil violations, stop criminalizing immigrants
    • No more private prison expansion
    • Close all facilities
    • Investigate all deaths and human rights violations in immigration detention
  • Cut the detention and deportation pipeline
    • Implement community-based measures
  • No human being is “alien”
  • Stop pitching “us versus them” battles, remove all references of “alien” from the Immigration and Nationality Act
  • Stop border wall construction
  • Divest from Customs and Border Protection, invest in border communities, provide access to healthcare, quality education, and basic needs
  • Put justice back in the immigration system
    • Restore the Office of Legal Access in the Executive Office of Immigration Review
    • Reunite the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services with the Department of Justice
    • Re-institute neutral hiring process for Immigration Judges
  • It’s time for comprehensive immigration reform to restore civility, humanity and reason to our immigration system
  • Reverse enforcement-only immigration policy
  • Reward long-term residency
  • Remove unlawful presence bar
  • Reward work
  • Reinvigorate employment-based and family-based immigration systems



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