ACJ Statement to our Leaders: No Human Being is Illegal


CONTACT: Madison Allman |

[WASHINGTON] – Shaina Aber, executive director of the Acacia Center for Justice, issued the following statement in response to anti-immigrant language used by President Biden during the State of the Union address:

“The words we use to describe people matter. Anti-immigrant and xenophobic rhetoric have already inspired horrific acts of violence against Black and Brown communities in the United States, like the 2019 mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, not to mention the collective villainization of people who arrive at our borders seeking safety.

“Despite President Biden’s promise to ‘restore the soul of our nation’ and leave the demonization of immigrant communities in the past, his use of dehumanizing language in last night’s State of the Union address will only normalize and further inflame those who seek to score political points through scapegoating immigrants in ways that undermine our values and the strength of our democratic ideals.

“Moral leadership is best embodied when decision makers put forth inclusive and equitable policies that live up to our nation’s ideals, rather than borrowing tired tactics from xenophobes.”


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About Acacia Center for Justice

Acacia Center for Justice delivers and advocates for meaningful and effective access to justice and freedom for immigrants at risk of detention or deportation in partnership with an accountable, independent nationwide network of immigrant legal service providers and community partners. Acacia Center for Justice’s reach and impact are unparalleled. The national nonprofit currently operates seven federally funded programs and one state funded program through a network of nearly 60 legal service providers located in over 80 offices across the country.