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For Immediate Release

Catherine Lee

In Partnership with:

Leading Immigrant Rights Organizations Demand the President Immediately Apologize for Using Degrading, Anti-Immigrant Term in SOTU Remarks

Contact: press@unitedwedream.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, President Biden used a degrading and dehumanizing term during his State of the Union remarks to refer to immigrants. In response, a coalition of leading immigrant rights organizations are urging the President to issue an immediate and unequivocal apology and reaffirm a commitment to delivering humane, people-centered immigration solutions.

Bruna Sollod, Senior Political Director of United We Dream, said:

Immigrant youth have mobilized millions of people across the country to build a multiracial, multigenerational movement for a future where all people are treated with dignity and respect, no matter their immigration status. Our movement is powerful, we are growing, and we will not let the President take us backwards.

The deadly white supremacist, anti-immigrant violence we have witnessed in recent years, from El Paso, Texas, to Buffalo, New York, were all perpetrated by people who had internalized the very language President Biden used last night. Members of United We Dream and our partners are demanding Biden issue an immediate and unequivocal apology.  The President’s callous words do not reflect nor define the strength, pride, and power of our Black, brown and immigrant communities. We are undocumented, unafraid and here to stay.”

Natalia Aristizabal, Deputy Director of Make the Road New York, said,

 “Last night, immigrant communities watched in deep disappointment as President Biden failed to lead and stop spreading the hurtful and hateful anti-immigrant message recklessly used by his predecessor and MAGA extremists. Instead, he fell right into the fearmongering and embraced dehumanizing language as he spoke about our people. Our communities know all too well how hateful speech fuels bigotry and leads to violence. President Biden should know better. Let it be clear: we believe in a world where everyone has the right to live with dignity and respect, regardless of where they are from.” 

Kica Matos, President of the National Immigration Law Center, said:

“Language matters, and the language used by President Biden last night to describe immigrants – our neighbors, family members, friends, and loved ones – was deeply offensive and completely unacceptable. We demand that this president do better.” 

Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, said :

“The President made removing the offensive and pejorative noun a part of his administration’s revision of U.S. law texts, which was part of his first-term agenda, yet he used that same word during his State of the Union speech. It was an unscripted moment provoked by the heckling of MAGA Members of Congress, but it is not excusable. The President needs to do better and address this issue with bold policies supported by the majority of the American people.”


United We Dream is the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the nation; made up of a multi-racial and multi-ethnic network of 1.2 million members, over 100 local groups, and a reach of over 5 million per month. UWD’s vision is to push for just policies that allow everyone to thrive regardless of immigration status. United We Dream is fighting for a multi-racial democracy that works for everyone by building a movement of young people who organize and advocate for the dignity and justice of immigrants and communities of color. You can find more at www.unitedwedream.org.

Make the Road New York (MRNY) builds the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services. We have 27,000+ members and operate five community centers in Bushwick, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; Port Richmond, Staten Island; Brentwood, Long Island; and White Plains, Westchester County.

Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants. At NILC, we believe that all people who live in the U.S. should have the opportunity to achieve our full potential. Over the years, we’ve been at the forefront of many of the country’s most pressing immigration issues, and we play a major leadership role in addressing the real-life impact of policies that affect the ability of all of us to prosper and thrive.

America’s Voice – Harnessing the power of American voices and American values to win common sense immigration reform.

This March marks 21 years of ICE CBP & DHS terrorizing our immigrant communities.

Ever since their creation, ICE and CBP have targeted, detained, abused and deported immigrants while separating loved ones and tearing apart communities. Donate 21 dollars to help us fight back against the 21 years of terror.