Incoming Biden administration urged to retire Insular Cases; Rep. Deb Haaland named DOI secretary

Updated: Dec 19, 2020

Rep. Deb Haaland

Equally American, a nonprofit group advocating for U.S. territories, welcomed President-elect Joe Biden's appointment of Rep. Deb Haaland to serve as secretary of the Interior, replacing David L. Bernhardt.

“As America’s only public interest law organization fighting for equality for residents of U.S. territories, Equally American looks forward to partnering with President-elect Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, and Secretary of the Interior-designate Haaland to serve the more than 4 million Americans who live in the territories— 98 percent of whom are racial or ethnic minorities or indigenous peoples,” said Neal Weare, president of Equally American.

“Equally American encourages the incoming Biden/Harris administration to work with community and political leaders from the territories—especially leaders from underserved indigenous communities—to provide equal rights and fair treatment for residents of U.S. territories," he added.

Weare urged the new administration to reject any "continued reliance on the controversial Insular Cases, which for over a century have relegated those living in the territories to second-class status. We also urge the new administration to support Medicaid parity, Supplemental Security Income equality, voting rights, tax fairness, and the right of self-determination in each of the territories.