President Biden is promising major immigration changes, but COVID-19 is the immediate challenge for newcomer organizations

Sector leaders and advocates say bigger concerns at the moment around working with refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic

Why It Matters

President Biden is promising to convene a meeting of leaders from North and Central American countries, including Canada, to propose a regional resettlement solution for migrants. This could have major implications for the work of newcomer and refugee organizations in Canada.

A black bust of César Chávez, the famous American union leader and farm worker activist, glared into President Joe Biden’s back as he began his first official day in the Oval Office last week. 

Every time a U.S. president is sworn into office, they are allowed to redecorate the Oval Office however they wish, and usually choose to add personal touches that reflect their vision for the country. Biden’s decision to include the bust of a labour leader who led immigrant farm workers to fight the brutal working conditions of California’s farms was not lost on those who support newcomers in both the U.S. and Canada.  

On his first day in office, Biden ended a U.S. ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. He also halted construction of former president Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico. But Chris Ramsaroop, an organizer with Justicia for Migran

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