Author Archives: Juan Gastelum

NILC Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2023

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on the Murder of Tyre Nichols

WASHINGTON — Sara K. Gould, interim executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement in response to the murder of Tyre Nichols by Memphis police officers:

“Tyre Nichols’ gruesome murder at the hands of Memphis police is another painful reminder of the urgent need to dismantle the structures upholding white supremacist violence. We mourn the loss of Tyre’s life – one full of love, joy, and purpose. We join the calls for justice for his family and community, as we continue to stand in solidarity with Black leaders demanding accountability, an end to police violence, and reinvestment in communities.”

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NILC Statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance Regarding Workers Asserting their Rights in the Workplace

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2023

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance Regarding Workers Asserting their Rights in the Workplace

WASHINGTON — Raha Wala, vice president of strategic partnerships and advocacy, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s announcement that clarifies the process by which workers asserting their rights against abusive employers can access temporary immigration protections, including work authorization and protection from deportation:

“The Department of Homeland Security’s guidance protecting immigrant workers is key to furthering President Biden’s historic commitment to support worker empowerment. This momentous victory is the result of years of activism from workers and advocates and will be critical to supporting collective organizing and making worksites across the country safer and more equitable for everyone.

“All working people, regardless of immigration status, deserve to work in a safe environment, with a living wage, and the ability to speak up about labor violations without fear of retaliation. Providing temporary protections to immigrant workers that allow them to organize and safely fight back against injustices in the workplace will bolster all workers’ rights. We will continue working collaboratively with the Biden administration to create more just and inclusive protections for all working people, including immigrants, so that everyone can do their jobs safely and with dignity.”

While DHS has previously made these protections available to some workers, this newly released policy guidance clarifies and streamlines the process by which workers involved in labor disputes can seek temporary immigration protections from DHS. NILC’s statement on the corresponding Department of Labor guidance released in July is available here.

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NILC Welcomes Interim Executive Director and Announces Promotions to New Vice President Roles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 19, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Welcomes Interim Executive Director and Announces Promotions to New Vice President Roles

WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (IJF) today welcomed Sara K. Gould as the new interim executive director of both organizations, with Marielena Hincapié set to depart in November. The organizations also announced the recent promotions of Will Dempster to vice president of strategic communications; Lisa Graybill to vice president of law and policy; and Raha Wala to vice president of strategic partnerships and advocacy.

Gould recently served as chair of the Board of Directors for NILC and IJF and a member of the NILC Board Executive Committee. She will oversee NILC and IJF until a permanent President is hired.

Marielena Hincapié, outgoing executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, said: I am proud to have led NILC and IJF for over 14 years and advanced immigrant justice for over two decades with a stellar team, and I feel grateful that I can pass the baton to Sara and our leaderful organization. Sara’s unwavering commitment to the mission and the organizations will enable the continuity of NILC and IJF’s work.”

Angela Banks, NILC’s board chair, added: “Sara is a trusted leader who is uniquely qualified to serve as interim executive director, given her knowledge of our strategic framework, our boards, and our current operations. I am also confident that the recent promotions to NILC’s new vice president roles will allow the organization to continue to grow in size and impact at a critical moment in our country. NILC is full of inspiring leaders, and it is well-prepared to continue to lead the movement for justice for low-income immigrants.”

Sara K. Gould, new interim executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, said: “I am honored to serve as Interim Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund. For decades NILC has been a national leader in litigation, policy and advocacy for immigrants’ rights. More recently, the IJF has begun the work of building power for immigrants as a key political constituency. I look forward to advancing our missions alongside the talented and committed staff who work tirelessly on behalf of low-income immigrants and their families.”

Gould has dedicated her career to advancing racial, gender, and economic justice. In addition to serving on the NILC board for the last 10 years and the IJF board for five years, Gould is an experienced executive, leader and strategist. She previously was president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women, where she served in various programmatic and executive roles over 25 years. She also previously worked for Caring Across Generations as associate director, where she advocated for caregivers, older adults, and people with disabilities, focusing on those from vulnerable communities. Gould was also a senior fellow in social justice philanthropy at The Atlantic Philanthropies, co-founded and co-directed the Steinem Initiative at Smith College, and is a past board member of Community Change, the Proteus Fund and the Proteus Action League.  

Gould holds a B.A. from Grand Valley State University and a Master’s Degree in City and Regional Planning from Harvard University. She is the recipient of both the Changing the Face of Philanthropy Award from the Women’s Funding Network and the 21 Leaders for the 21st Century Award from Women’s eNews. 

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NILC Calls for Immediate Resignation of LA City Council Members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Calls for Immediate Resignation of LA City Council Members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon

LOS ANGELES — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center – a national organization headquartered in Los Angeles that advocates on behalf of low-income immigrants and their loved ones – issued the following statement demanding the immediate resignation of Los Angeles City Council Members Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon:

“NILC calls on Los Angeles City Council Members Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo to follow former Council President Nury Martinez and immediately resign from office. We condemn their dehumanizing and racist comments targeting Black, Indigenous, AAPI, Armenian, and LGBTQ+ communities.

“The leaked conversation between these elected officials and former Los Angeles County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera demonstrates pervasive racism in their beliefs and in the execution of their duties. It also reveals a concerted effort to erase Black lives and voices through redistricting rooted in white supremacy.

“Martinez, de Leon, and Cedillo have forfeited their positional power, roles, and responsibilities to the people who elected them. They can no longer credibly represent the people of Los Angeles and our diverse communities.

“Angelenos deserve and demand more from leaders who are elected to represent us. It is only once Martinez, de Leon and Cedillo have taken full responsibility for their actions and are held accountable can the healing in our communities begin. This is especially critical at a time of such deep polarization when race and immigration are constantly used as wedge issues to divide our country. Los Angeles is home to one of the richest multi-cultural communities in the U.S., and this can be a transformational moment for the country.”

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NILC Statement on Fifth Circuit DACA Decision in Texas v. United States

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on Fifth Circuit Decision in Texas v. United States

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a decision on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy.

The Fifth Circuit largely upheld a lower court ruling finding the 2012 memo that established DACA unlawful, but it will allow DACA renewals to continue temporarily and has sent the case back to the lower court to consider the Biden administration’s new DACA regulation, which is set to go into effect on October 31.

“While the Fifth Circuit’s troubling decision does not change who can currently apply for or renew DACA, immigrant youth cannot be expected to continue to live with the constant uncertainty wrought by politicized attacks on the policy.

“DACA is a successful and commonsense policy that has transformed lives, improved our economy, and strengthened our nation. It is legally and morally right, but it was always meant to be temporary.

“Today’s decision makes clear that the writing is on the legal wall, and we cannot sit by awaiting another adverse ruling by the lower court, the Fifth Circuit, or ultimately the Supreme Court. This underscores the urgency for Congress to deliver a permanent legislative solution for immigrant youth, who need the permanency and stability of a pathway to citizenship. This is a solution that is widely supported by the public, and Congress must follow through. We urge President Biden to wield his political and legislative prowess to achieve this much-needed legislative victory swiftly.”

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NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Public Charge Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458 

NILC Statement on the Biden Administration’s Public Charge Rule

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s new public charge rule:

“For several years, the National Immigration Law Center and a broad diverse coalition of allies fought back against Trump’s cruel public charge wealth test that threatened the health, nutrition, and housing of millions of families. The Biden administration’s public charge rule aligns with longstanding principles in immigration law and provides helpful clarifications to pre-existing guidance. This policy is an important step in advancing the Biden administration’s priority of addressing socioeconomic and racial inequities that have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration to ensure these regulations are implemented and communicated in a way that will promote healthier communities and affirm that all of us – no matter how much money we have, where we were born, or what we look like – have access to the tools and supports we need to thrive.”

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NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s New DACA Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s New DACA Regulation 

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s newly released regulation on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy:

“For more than ten years, DACA has positively transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and their communities. We welcome the Biden administration’s continued efforts to ensure that DACA recipients can remain here in the country they call home. While the Biden administration’s new rule sends a clear message that DACA works, our communities need more.

“Strengthening DACA is a crucial step, but it is not a substitute for congressional action. Congress must pass a permanent solution, not only for DACA recipients, but for as many immigrant youth as possible. As we continue to fight back politically motivated attacks on DACA, we urge the administration to move swiftly to implement the new rule and ensure a measure of stability for hundreds of thousands of our community members whose home is here.”

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NILC Statement on Court Decision in Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected],
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on Court Decision in Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo  

WASHINGTON — After a federal court ruled that the Biden administration must undo the harms of the Muslim and African Bans and reconsider denied visa applications, Max Wolson, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This momentous victory is a result of tireless organizing by communities around the country and will have profound impact on those whose lives and livelihoods have been derailed by the Muslim and African bans. Now, we look to the Biden administration to do the right thing by living up to its promises, redressing the ongoing harms of these discriminatory bans, and finally establishing a fair process to ensure that people denied opportunities and relief in the U.S. no longer have to live in limbo.”

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Families, Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Court Decision that U.S. Government Must Redress Muslim Ban Harms 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022

CONTACT
Madison Allman, NILC, [email protected], 202-384-1279
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, [email protected]

Families, Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Court Decision that U.S. Government Must Redress Muslim Ban Harms 

Federal court rules Biden administration must undo the harms of the Muslim and African Bans and proactively reconsider denied visa applicants 

No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition of over 100 Muslim and immigrants’ rights groups hails decision, mobilizes to hold Biden administration accountable to ruling

SAN FRANCISCO – While families remain separated by the Trump administration’s racist and Islamophobic Muslim and African Bans, a federal court in San Francisco ruled in Pars Equality Center, et. al. v. Pompeo, et. al. that the Biden administration must  undo the harms of the Bans. 

The Biden administration must now meet with the plaintiffs to establish a fair and effective process to reopen and reconsider applications from people who were denied family reunification, jobs and educational opportunities, and medical treatment as a result of the Bans and the current administration’s protracted refusals to redress the lasting harms, even after rescinding the Bans on President Biden’s first day in office. 

“Our clients have been living in legal limbo for years, unable to live full, abundant lives, pursue their careers, and start a family,” said Paris Etemadi Scott, Legal Director at Pars Equality Center, which brought the lawsuit with others in 2018. “Communities in every part of the U.S. and in countries around the world are celebrating: the Biden administration must finish the work of their rescission and end the shameful discrimination that people from Muslim-majority and African countries have faced, simply because of where they were born. This decision shows the power of relentless community organizing for what’s right.” 

With offices spread across California, Pars Equality Center provides extensive social and legal services to Iranian Americans, Persian-speaking, and other underserved immigrant communities. Since the Biden administration rescinded the Bans, dozens of the center’s clients have endured an indefinite state of limbo. As a result of the ruling, the U.S. government has been ordered to quickly remedy the lasting harms of the Bans with a clear and legitimate process.

In the wake of the ruling, the No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition, the largest national grassroots coalition focused on rescinding the Bans, is mobilizing to ensure the Biden administration effectively and swiftly implements the court’s ruling. The coalition continues to advocate for the NO BAN Act, which would limit dangerously broad authority in U.S. immigration law so that no future president can issue bans that bar the entry of people based on their religion or national origin. 

Prior to rescission, more than 41,800 individuals and families have been denied visas and waivers under the Muslim and African Bans without notice of the process, an opportunity to submit evidence or file for reconsideration. Despite the Biden administration’s rescission of the Bans, families remain separated and caught in a black hole of administrative delays, with little information or clarity and no recourse to repair the damage. More than 34,800 people signed a petition in the past year urging the Biden administration to allow all individuals who were denied entry by the Bans their fair shot at immigration.

Pars Equality Center and community members from Muslim-majority countries were represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, Iranian American Bar Association, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Additional details and documents related to the case, Pars Equality Center, et. al. v. Pompeo, et. al., can be found here: https://www.nilc.org/issues/litigation/pars-equality-center-v-pompeo/

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NILC Statement on the Nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2022

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC Statement on the Nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement on President Biden’s nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín, a supervising attorney at NILC, to serve as a federal district judge:

“The National Immigration Law Center proudly and enthusiastically supports the nomination of our own Araceli Martínez-Olguín to serve as a federal judge in the Northern District of California. Ms. Martínez-Olguín is an exemplary litigator whose work over many years at NILC and other leading national civil rights organizations has served to advance gender, economic, and racial equity, and justice for all people. Her remarkable understanding of the Constitution and the law, her tenacity in advocating for the people she has represented throughout her career, and her lived experience as a Latina immigrant will bring an invaluable perspective to the federal judiciary at this crucial moment for our country. She is exactly the type of judge we need on the federal bench who will be fair, judicious, and ensure that our legal system can still be a tool for achieving equity, equality, and justice for all.

“Ms. Martínez-Olguín’s nomination is a testament to President Biden’s commitment to nominating qualified jurists to serve on the bench, who also move us closer to a judiciary that reflects the diversity of our country. We thank Senator Padilla for recommending her nomination and we urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to expeditiously consider and confirm Ms. Martínez-Olguín to serve as a federal judge.”

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