The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Anna Bahr,

Biden Administration Deports Human Trafficking Victims, Expels Immigrants to Countries They've Never Visited

The Eyes on ICE campaign reiterates its request that Secretary Mayorkas hear directly from the victims of the US immigration enforcement system.


Just one week after the first death in ICE custody occurred on President Biden's watch, immigrants are coming forward to share their experiences with the United States' deportation system, and asking Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to hear their stories first hand.

Advocates and some of the 127,457 people that have been deported since President Biden took office will testify about their treatment at the hands of ICE, including:

  • Paul Pierrilus, a New York financial consultant, who was deported to Haiti despite not being born there and never even setting foot in the country.
  • Mohammad, an Ethiopian national who was expelled to Mexico and has been blocked from seeking asylum from the Biden administration
  • Sandra Solis, who will testify about an ICE raid that targeted and expelled 65 victims of human trafficking

The event is part of the Eyes on ICE campaign -- an ongoing effort from Mijente and the We Are Home coalition to feature the stories and recommendations of individuals who have been impacted by the harsh immigration enforcement tactics of the Trump administration and organizations that advocate for immigrant rights.

Last week, the campaign extended an invitation to Secretary Mayorkas to attend its final forum in early May, to hear directly from people whose voices are often ignored in immigration policy debates.

"The federal government is using the coronavirus crisis to bar asylum seekers at the border and summarily expel hundreds of thousands of immigrants without due process," said Jacinta Gonzalez. "We need the American government to do better, and produce a cogent plan that provides citizenship to every immigrant to this country, tackles the deportation system that exploded under Trump, and protects asylum seekers looking for sanctuary. The Biden administration certainly should not be in the business of deporting folks while getting its act together."

"If Secretary Mayorkas is deciding the future of our nation's immigration policy, he should hear directly from those who have been victimized by it and those who have been on the ground organizing for the last four years," said Marisa Franco, Director of Mijente. "It is time for the federal government to overhaul and shrink an interior enforcement system that has done immeasurable damage to immigrant communities in every corner of this country. The federal government currently wastes more than $25 billion each year on ICE and CBP to profile, jail, and deport immigrants -- funding that could be spent on our public schools, expanding Medicaid, or investing in a sustainable power grid."

As part of the We Are Home coalition, Mijente has made the following demands of the Biden administration -- all of which can be achieved by executive order:

  • Make good on President Biden's promise to halt deportations by directing ICE to grant Stays of Removal to all individuals facing deportation and conduct a review to release every person currently in detention;
  • As 120 legal experts and law professors have explained, the temporary restraining order issued by a Trump-appointed Judge does not bar the Biden Administration from taking these actions;
  • Close detention facilities and end the use of private prisons and state and local jails;
  • Stop fusing policing with mass deportation by ending the 287(g) program, the Secure Communities program, and the use of ICE detainers;
  • Close hundreds of thousands of pending deportation cases on the immigration court docket;
  • Adopt prosecutorial discretion guidelines that provide relief from hyper-criminalization, not more punishment;
  • Allow people seeking asylum at the southern border to enter the country--instead of detaining or turning them away.

Haitian Bridge Alliance
National Domestic Workers' Alliance
Human Rights First
National Immigrant Justice Center

Eyes on ICE Truth and Accountability Forum - community members directly impacted by ICE will share their firsthand accounts of the abuse they suffered.

Thursday, April 2
Start time: 6pm ET
End time: 7pm ET


Press interested in attending the event should RSVP to

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