Refugee Congress Applauds Executive Orders on Immigration and Asylum as First Steps Toward Necessary Reform

WASHINGTON–Yesterday the Biden administration signed three executive orders that begin the process of reversing the damage done by the previous administration to immigration and asylum protection systems in the U.S.

“We commend the president on taking these first steps towards keeping his promise to restore the U.S. to its place as a global humanitarian leader and a country of welcome, including the creation of a task force to reunite separated families,” said Lourena Gboeah, Chair of the Refugee Congress Board of Directors and Delegate for Delaware.

The executive actions include commitments to review and restore asylum protections, including beginning to reunite separated families, protect unaccompanied children and address the root causes of forced displacement from Central America. They also include a review of the inhumane Migration Protection Protocols, which forced asylum seekers back to Mexico, and a review of the immigration policies and regulations, including the cruel “public charge” rule.

“This is the first of many steps that will place us on the road back to providing safety and security for those who seek it, as well as undoing the increasingly harmful xenophobic narrative that has plagued our country in recent years,” said Nili Sarit Yossinger, National Director of Refugee Congress.

Refugee Congress also applauds the confirmation of Alejandro Mayorkas, the first Latino, first immigrant and the child of a mother who escaped Nazi persecution to serve as Secretary of Homeland Security.

As an organization built and led by refugees and asylum-seekers, Refugee Congress knows firsthand the importance of a humane protection system and policies that provide safety and welcome for those fleeing violence and persecution.

“I have hope that this new administration will respect and protect the rights of the immigrants, especially the rights of the immigrant children who had to flee their countries to escape unspeakable acts of violence. Let’s restore the dignity of those children in detention and eliminate the cruel Migrant Protection Policy, giving immigrants back the right to apply for asylum,” said Carmen Kcomt, Refugee Congress Delegate for California.

The steps taken by the Biden administration to date are important, but the work of rebuilding this system and instituting the protection needed is just the beginning. We urge the Biden administration to continue its work together with Congress to institute strong, permanent change to our refugee and asylum protection systems, including passing the Refugee Protection Act, and to work together with former refugees and asylum-seekers in creating these changes. Refugee Congress is dedicated to being a partner in this process. 


Refugee Congress is a nonpartisan advocacy organization built and led by former refugees, asylum-seekers and other vulnerable migrants to promote the well-being, integration and dignity of all vulnerable migrants. With delegates across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, we use our voices and experiences to inform and influence decision-makers on critical domestic and international issues that affect our communities.

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