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August 2011 News Releases & Statements


Alabama Anti-Immigrant Law Put on Temporary Hold Until Sept. 29

A federal court announced today that HB 56, the Alabama anti-immigrant law, has been temporarily placed on hold. The law was scheduled to go into effect on September 1. The temporary hold was ordered to give the court sufficient time to issue a decision on motions filed in three consolidated lawsuits to block the law, pending a ruling on the motions. The court’s temporary order does not reflect any view about the substance of the motions.

NILC and Civil Rights Coalition Ask Federal Court to Block Anti-Immigrant Law

NILC and a coalition of civil rights groups asked a federal judge today to block the state’s anti-immigrant law from taking effect on Sept. 1. These statements with respect to this development can be attributed to various members of the coalition.


Obama Administration Finally Flexes Its Prosecutorial Discretion Muscle

The Obama administration has announced how it will begin implementing the prosecutorial discretion memo issued on June 17 by Immigration and Customs Enforcement director John Morton. In response to pleas by families and students waiting for Congress to act on the DREAM Act or broader humane immigration reform, the Dept. of Homeland Security finally issued a response to a letter sent on April 13, 2011, by a group of senators urging the administration to stem the deportation of students eligible for the DREAM Act.


National Report Condemns Secure Communities Program

NILC and partner organizations have released an authoritative report condemning the Secure Communities deportation program and recommending its termination. “Restoring Community” includes testimony from former New York district attorney Robert Morgenthau, heads of law enforcement, and victims of S-Comm such as Isaura in Los Angeles, whose 911 call for help resulted in her being placed in deportation proceedings.


NILC Calls on DHS to End “Secure Communities” Now

NILC again has denounced the “Secure Communities” program, alongside Los Angelenos and sister immigrants’ rights organizations. More than 121,000 immigrants have been deported since the inception of the Secure Communities program in 2008. “[DHS's] taskforce [on Secure Communities] mirrors the lack of transparency and community input that characterizes the . . . program itself,” NILC executive director Marielena Hincapié said.

NILC and Civil Rights Coalition Welcome Opposition to Alabama Anti-Immigrant Law

NILC and a coalition of other civil rights groups applaud the filing of legal briefs on behalf of more than 90 advocacy groups and countries opposed to Alabama’s new anti-immigrant law, HB 56. The groups cite the briefs as further evidence of the widespread harm the law will inflict across the state and the diverse coalition of groups opposing HB 56 and similar anti-immigrant measures across the country.

Congressmembers Take Needed Steps to Protect Thousands of Elderly and Disabled Refugees

Reps. Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) have introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives to protect refugees facing termination of their disability benefits (H.R. 2763, introduced Aug. 1). Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) is leading similar efforts in the Senate.  The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) applauds these members of Congress for their work on behalf of this very special population.

DREAM Defenders Network Will Represent Immigrant Youth Entangled in the Broken Immigration System

A network of student groups, activists, and immigration attorneys have announced that they will form a DREAM Defenders network to support immigrant youth who are at risk of deportation. The network will focus on youth who would benefit from the DREAM Act, legislation that would provide undocumented youth who were brought to the United States as children a pathway to citizenship if they attend college or enlist in the armed forces.

Don Lyster Tapped to Be Director of NILC's DC Office

Don Lyster, a seasoned Hill veteran, has joined the National Immigration Law Center as director of its Washington, DC, office. In that capacity, he will provide strategic support to advance NILC’s policy agenda. Lyster has served members of Congress in various capacities, including recently as chief of staff to then Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA), who is now the U.S. secretary of labor.

DHS Comes Clean about Its Mass Deportation Agenda

DHS has announced that it will unilaterally rescind memorandums of agreement with 42 states that authorized fingerprint information-sharing with DHS under the flawed Secure Communities program, stating that such agreements are unnecessary. This latest announcement makes clear that S-Comm is an unfunded, mandatory program imposed on states, despite intentionally misleading assertions by DHS to the contrary. DHS also announced that it will continue to unilaterally implement S-Comm in existing jurisdictions and expand the program across the country.

Civil Rights Coalition Applauds U.S. Lawsuit against Alabama's Anti-Immigrant Law

The U.S. Department of Justice today filed a federal challenge to Alabama’s draconian anti-immigrant law. Modeled on Arizona’s infamous SB 1070 but taking it to even greater extremes, the Alabama law is considered the most pernicious anti-immigrant state law to date.