Washington, D.C. – During the U.S. Conference of Mayors held last week, DHS Secretary Mayorkas urged local law enforcement agencies to work in tandem with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in targeting and deporting undocumented people in cities across the country. Secretary Mayorkas’ remarks indicate President Biden’s continued betrayal of his campaign promises to protect immigrant communities, including by ending 287(g) programs initiated by Trump and for-profit detention and delivering a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented people in the U.S.
Cynthia Garcia, National Campaign Manager for Community Protection of United We Dream, said:
“Secretary Mayorkas made clear in his remarks last week that the Biden administration lacks any form of political and moral courage to denounce racism and defend human life. After marking the administration’s first year in office with over 1.8 million people deported and expelled, President Biden and DHS Secretary Mayorkas are now on track to continue and even worsen this legacy as they ramp up efforts to criminalize undocumented communities and further merge together the U.S. mass incarceration system with the immigration detention and deportation machine.
Immigrant communities had organized against 287 (g) agreements, which disproportionately profile, target, and criminalize Black and brown people. This led to substantial victories in places like Harris County in Texas, and Gwinnett and Cobb counties in Georgia, among others. By urging local law enforcement agencies to serve as an arm of ICE, Secretary Mayorkas and the Biden administration are undermining our communities’ efforts to keep ourselves safe. With COVID infections inside ICE detention surging by over 500 percent, the Biden administration is calling on local communities to use taxpayer dollars to support growing the number of people who will be subjected to the deadly virus in detention. This is a critical moment for the Biden administration to change course and be on the side of racial justice by protecting all immigrants and Black and brown people whose lives will continue to be dismissed under our country’s punitive and racist immigration and mass incarceration systems. President Biden must fulfill his campaign promise to end 287(g) programs initiated by Trump and immediately free our people from the deadly harms of detention.”