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Michigan organizers push for Biden administration to make immigration changes a priority

Tomasz Zajda
Adobe Stock

Immigrant rights organizers in Michigan are pushing for the incoming Biden administration to undo the policies of the Trump administration.

Organizers with Michigan United brought together a number of people from the state affected by immigration policies in the U.S.

“As an asylum recipient, I am joining other families in asking President-elect Biden and congress to undo the harms and de-humanization the Trump administration has brought to the asylum process,” said Elouise Garley, a U.S. citizen living in Michigan, who’s originally from Liberia.

Garley says she obtained her citizenship after her husband was granted asylum in the U.S. following the Liberian civil war.

President Trump’s White House has made administrative changes to the asylum process. Those changes include the Migrant Protection Protocols, which forces many people seeking asylum along the southern border to wait in Mexico while their case is processed.

Joe Biden’s campaign promised to undo the changes to U.S. asylum policy within the first 100 days of the new administration.

But some immigrant rights activists say they want to make sure President Biden keeps his promises, and pushes for even more changes in the immigration policy.

“We’re tired of broken promises,” says Brandon Reyes, who grew up in Grand Rapids and was deported to Mexico last year after his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, status was revoked by the Trump administration.

“Twenty years have passed and we don’t see no damn result,” Reyes said on a Zoom call organized by Michigan United. "Be accountable for your actions for severing families, moms, dads, brothers and sisters.”

Dustin Dwyer reports enterprise and long-form stories from Michigan Public’s West Michigan bureau. He was a fellow in the class of 2018 at the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard. He’s been with Michigan Public since 2004, when he started as an intern in the newsroom.
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