Statement on President Biden’s Immigration Plan

January 22, 2021

Migration that Works applauds the Biden-Harris administration for its bold immigration plan that would grant a pathway to citizenship to millions of undocumented individuals, including DACA recipients, TPS holders, and immigrant farmworkers. We also celebrate the end of the Muslim travel ban and a commitment to advance racial equity signaled through Day 1 executive orders.

Since 2011, Migration that Works has advocated for strong worker protections in the U.S. temporary work visa programs, including  the H-2A, H-2B, H-1B, J-1, and TN visa categories. Many of those workers, sadly, find themselves in abusive worksites where their labor and employment rights are not respected and are repeatedly violated with impunity by employers that can exert a great deal of power over them due to the legal frameworks of work visa programs, most of which tie each worker and their immigration status to a single employer. Last month, our coalition met with the Biden-Harris Transition team, sharing our recommendations to advance policies and a labor migration model that respects and uplifts the experiences of hundreds of thousands of migrant workers who enter the U.S. every year. We are happy to see the Biden-Harris immigration plan include protections from retaliation for workers that would allow them to remain in the country to pursue legal avenues to seek redress and hold employers accountable for lawbreaking. 

Our coalition looks forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration to ensure strong, enforceable protections are in place for the migrant and seasonal workers in the temporary work visa programs, to ensure that temporary work status is de-linked from employers, and to ensure the fair treatment and dignity of all workers, regardless of status.  

Migration that Works is a coalition of labor, migration, civil rights, anti-trafficking organizations and academics advancing a labor migration model that respects the human rights of workers, families and communities and reflects their voices and experiences. We envision a value-based model for labor migration that prioritizes the human rights of workers and their families, elevating labor standards for all workers.

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