Media Contact Information

                           

Isa Peña
isa@innovationlawlab.org
503-334-8718

Today’s executive action will impact up to 16,000 Oregonians 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 18, 2024

CONTACT: Sarah Armstrong, sarah@armstrongpr.com, m- 503.756.3147

WOODBURN, Ore.—President Biden today announced an executive action that provides spouses of U.S. citizens with the ability to obtain work permits and a pathway to permanent residency, ultimately leading to citizenship. The action is expected to affect nearly 8,000 immigrant Oregonian spouses who have lived in the state for at least a decade. It also provides a streamlined path for the approximately 8,400 Oregonian “Dreamers” to obtain temporary visas and increase their participation in the professional workforce. 

Community based organizations with Equity Corps of Oregon–the state’s universal representation program–will hold information sessions statewide to help immigrant Oregonians learn about the executive action and get free access to lawyers and accredited representatives, including access to free legal clinics and representation and support with filing fees. More information will be posted at https://equitycorps.org/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AlivioLaboral/. . 

Community leaders from across the state praised Biden’s action, but universally said more must be done to fix our broken immigration system.

Isa Peña, director of strategy at Innovation Law Lab, said:

“We celebrate today with the Oregon families who will feel relief and will be protected. However, this is only a part of what we need. Oregon’s families need comprehensive immigration reform. We pledge to keep advocating for sensible immigration reforms for the parents of US citizens, for workers, for caretakers, and every immigrant Oregonian who wants to contribute to their community”.

Mercedes Elizalde, director of advocacy at Latino Network, said:

“This policy will promote family unity and will strengthen Oregon’s economy. This is exactly the kind of action we need from the federal government to ensure families stay together. Thanks to the forward-thinking and compassionate leadership of Oregon’s government officials, both our state administration and community-based providers will be ready to support community members as more information is released. We are grateful for the actions of state leaders who put Oregonians’ needs ahead of political posturing and hope for future policy decisions that continue to prioritize our collective wellbeing”.

Reyna Lopez Osuna, executive director of PCUN, said:

“Farmworkers, and immigrant working families are the backbone of Oregon’s agricultural labor force. It is no secret that our farmworkers are heavily burdened by a lack of access to legal status. An executive action granting spouses of citizens a pathway to permanent residency is critical to the well-being of our families and our communities. This is a step in the right direction, President Biden should continue to use his executive powers to build a path for legalization. PCUN supports this decision”.

Ricardo Lujan Valerio, executive committee member of Oregon Worker Relief, said:

“Regardless of the political flavor of the week, immigrants have been part of the fabric of this nation. This executive action is a recognition that this nation cannot turn its wheels without our immigrant community. Here in Oregon, we will do everything we can to serve those that may benefit from this action. It’s time for the rest of Congress to take action and provide permanent relief from all of our immigrant communities in hardship”.

Dagoberto Morales, director of NOWIA Unete at the Center for Farm Worker Advocacy, said:

“This executive action is just one small step to ensure justice for Oregon’s immigrant and farm worker families. Employer abuse in the form of wage theft, unsafe working conditions and human trafficking place undocumented individuals in danger daily. This cannot continue. We need Congress to act on a viable comprehensive plan to reform immigration in the US now!”  

Leni Tupper, PCC Legal Resource Center/CLEAR Clinic Director, said:

“This action by the Biden Administration is undoubtedly a step in the right direction that will provide protection, safety, and family unity for many. Like all movements toward liberation and equality, these executive actions have been enacted due to the tireless efforts of immigrant activists and grassroots organizers. A visa process for DACA recipients has been particularly hard fought and won by the community. These changes, however, inevitably leave some of our community members behind. The binary of deserving vs. undeserving immigrants is a false narrative, and we stand strong and will continue to fight with our migrant community members who have been criminalized, or who are new arrivals to this country”. 

Emma Ronai-Durning, organizer with the Rural Organizing Project said:

“Rural Oregonians believe in keeping families and communities together. We applaud the Biden administration’s most recent actions that make it easier for folks to stay in our communities. Just like the 2021 Sanctuary Promise Act, this new policy moves us closer to a thriving rural Oregon where everyone feel safe and welcome in the communities they call home. We will continue to push until no one has to worry about their family members being taken away or about their tax dollars being wasted on the multi-billion dollar deportation and detention system”.

Photos and videos are online at  https://drive.google.com/drive/u/2/folders/1-C6H2YK-GoieX5FjP3qokuU1QrT4nF7r