Hundreds Caravan to Wilmington to Urge Pres.-Elect Biden to Deliver Justice for Immigrants, Black & Brown Communities, and Puerto Rico

Biden sends letter to participants. 

Live stream video can be found here.

(December 15, 2020) — Today hundreds of immigrants, Black and brown people, and Puerto Ricans from across seven states and Washington D.C. caravanned through President-Elect Joe Biden’s home city of Wilmington, Delaware to urge swift action within his first 100 days to deliver justice for immigrants, criminal legal system reform, and Puerto Rico. The action was led by Make the Road Action, CASA in Action, DelACA, the Center for Popular Democracy Action, FIRM Action, and allies, and was part of a national day of action. Biden sent a letter to participants. (Full letter here and more below).

Organizations like Make the Road Action and CASA in Action led historic voter turnout efforts reaching millions of immigrant, Latinx, Black, and working-class voters from across the East Coast and Nevada to remove Trump from office—a victory President-elect Biden owes to those communities. In key states, Black and Latinx voters turned out overwhelmingly for Biden. For instance, in Pennsylvania, 93 percent of Black voters and 69 percent of Latinx voters supported Biden, according to the American Election Eve Poll and more than accounted for his margin of victory.

“During the presidential elections, our communities helped ensure Biden’s victory, because he promised to deliver concrete policies that would bring justice to our people,” said Martin Torres, member of Make the Road Action and New York resident. “I could not vote, but I made sure my loved ones and friends who could supported Biden. Now, as he prepares to take office, we urge him to work with us to deliver an overhaul of immigration enforcement, including the moratorium on deportations, and a pathway to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented immigrants.”

“The role of the immigrant, Puerto Rican, and Black community in electing Biden-Harris is undeniable,” said Gustavo Torres, president of CASA in Action, which mobilized 1.2 million voters in PA and VA. “Now, we forge ahead to claim what we have fought for and work closely with the new administration for a package benefiting communities of color, one that recognizes the hard work accomplished even during the worst of the Trump administration.”

Just weeks away from inauguration, Black and Latinx people from Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. led a caravan through the streets of Wilmington and held a rally in Rodney Square. Community members outlined key issues in which the Biden administration must take decisive action, including:

  • Immigration: President-elect Biden must swiftly reverse hundreds of nativist Trump policies, overhaul enforcement and issue a moratorium on deportations, and advance a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people across the country. 
  • Criminal Legal System Reform: To begin stopping the mass criminalization of Black and brown communities and reform the criminal legal system, President-elect Biden must advance immediate measures to repair the harm from the 1994 crime bill, end the school-to-prison pipeline, divest from criminalization, and invest in communities. 
  • Puerto Rico: President-elect Biden must dismantle structures of corporate greed that have made recovery impossible for Puerto Rico, including canceling the debt.


President-elect Biden sent a letter of encouragement to participants in the event, thanking the voters of color and immigrant voters who helped win the election and saying: “Now, the work of realizing our shared vision is before us–the good and necessary work that will lead to an immigration system that is fair, humane, and that reflects our values as a nation of immigrants. Together, we’ll build back an economy that works for working people. We’ll root out systemic racism in our justice system and society and continue the work of uniting our country and healing the soul of our nation.” (Full letter below.)

Raquel Valesquez, Make the Road Action New Jersey member, said, “As a member of Make the Road Action, I made hundreds of calls and sent thousands of messages to Latinx voters in Pennsylvania during this election cycle. Today, I am here to remind President-Elect Biden that our brown and black communities showed up and voted for him. He must honor his campaign commitments and in his first 100 days, work towards creating concrete actions to fix our broken immigration system. We cannot be free unless we are all free.”

“We chose a new vision for our country, one that begins with a roadmap to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and begins to course correct the harm endured by our communities for the past four years of an administration that was cruel and careless with the lives of immigrants and refugees,” said Sulma Arias, spokesperson for FIRM Action. “Campaign promises are not enough and the new administration must work with Congress and directly impacted people.” 

“President-Elect Biden and his administration must act swiftly in solidarity with Black and brown communities who propelled him to victory this election,” said Jesus Gonzalez, Senior National Organizer and Strategic Initiatives Advisor at the Center for Popular Democracy. “With more than five million Puerto Ricans in the U.S. who played a critical role in getting him elected, it’s time for Biden to keep his word by taking executive and legislative action to cancel Puerto Rico’s debt, providing a pathway for a just recovery, and action on self determination for our home Island.”