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By Attorney, Ella Rawls  |  azjfon.org

On day one of the Biden-Harris administration, Arizona JFON joins our network and other immigrant rights groups in celebrating yesterday’s immigration policy changes.

We are grateful that funding for the border wall has been halted. The construction of the wall has harmed our border communities for far too long. It has harmed indigenous sacred spaces infringing on indigenous sovereignty, threatened the migration of border species, and threatened critical habitats.

We celebrate the revocation of the racist Muslim ban that prohibited migration from Muslim majority countries and specific African countries. We believe that all people are entitled to exercise their religious beliefs and the inclusion of all religious traditions makes this country richer.

We sigh with relief knowing that the Biden administration has passed a moratorium preventing deportations for 100 days.  Many of the families we work with are mixed-status families. This means that for 100 days, they don’t have to worry about their undocumented family members in a time of pandemic.

We find hope in President Biden’s executive order reaffirming the Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals Program. Dreamers have stood by our nation, they have studied with us, they have studies with our children, they have worked with us, and they have helped our nation continue on during this pandemic.

We are comforted by President Biden’s executive order that declares that each person in the United States will be counted in the U.S. Census. Each person must be counted in the census because immigration status does not determine the worth of any of our community members.

President Biden, in his first day of office has brought hope to us through these many executive orders that show a theme of empathy and welcome for our immigrant community members. We look to this new President to heal the divisions of our nation and to be an example of unity.

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