Author Archives: Richard Irwin

Supreme Court to Take Muslim Ban Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2018

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, media@nilc.org, 202-805-0375

Supreme Court to Take Muslim Ban Case

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral argument on Hawaii v. Trump, a legal challenge to one of the latest iterations of President Trump’s Muslim ban. This executive order, first issued in September 2017, indefinitely bans people from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. The Supreme Court recently stayed earlier preliminary injunctions partially blocking the ban, allowing it to go into full effect. The New York Times has recently covered the devastation and ongoing family separation caused by the ban.

In response to this announcement, Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Muslim ban is not merely a looming threat, but a heartless and unlawful order that has already torn families apart and thrown lives into chaos. Since the ban was announced one year ago, it has succeeded in slamming the door on Muslims and refugees seeking reunification with their loved ones.

“As the lower courts have proved time and again, this Muslim ban is not only hateful and incredibly damaging, but also unlawful. This administration’s ruthless attacks on immigrant and refugee communities are unconstitutional and stand in stark contrast to our nation’s values of inclusivity and religious freedom.

“This is a pivotal time in our nation’s history, when we are called upon as a nation to decide whether we truly live by our ideals, or merely carve them into our monuments. We continue to stand proudly with our plaintiffs, refugees, and the American Muslim community and will fight in the courtroom, in the halls of Congress, and alongside our communities until there is no Muslim ban ever.”

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House Kicks the Can Down the Road, Fails the Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

House Republicans Kick the Can Down the Road, Fail the Country

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today approved a short-term resolution to keep the government funded and running for four more weeks. Existing funding expires Friday. The House-approved bill does not include language to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers or an adequate reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), despite overwhelming support for such measures from all sectors of civic life and several bipartisan legislative proposals presented this week. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“House Republicans again have failed to address our nation’s most pressing issues. Yet another partisan vote on a short-term funding agreement demonstrates how Republican leadership’s dysfunction is preventing the country from arriving at real solutions. Their basic failure to legislate is undercutting even their own stated priorities and leading the country down the path to a government shutdown.

“This bill does not provide adequate solutions. And it insidiously pits vulnerable populations against each other. Decent lawmakers and our communities must make it clear that we are united and committed to doing better. It’s time to stop with the political games. We urge the Senate to reject this failure and put forward real solutions. We cannot continue to prolong the precarious situation facing Dreamers.”

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NILC Responds to Introduction of Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

DACA Crisis Requires a Narrow and Permanent Bipartisan Fix Now

NILC responds to introduction of Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act

WASHINGTON — Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) today introduced new bipartisan legislation to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers. The bill would provide relief for immigrant youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors and allocate additional resources toward the border and other enforcement.

The bill introduction comes as Congress faces a Friday deadline to approve funding to keep the federal government running.

More than 16,000 recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, have lost protections since the Trump administration terminated the program in September.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“For months, lawmakers and the American public have engaged in a conversation about resolving the urgent crisis created when President Trump terminated DACA. More than 80 percent of America agrees that Dreamers should have the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, and that we can’t keep immigrant youth and their families in their current precarious state any longer.

“Representatives Hurd and Aguilar have found a narrow, bipartisan solution that helps solve the problem we’re facing, a problem created by President Trump’s termination of the DACA program. The USA Act is a serious effort to address the concerns on both sides of the political aisle, a rare feat in the current political climate.

“However, this bill is not without flaws. While it does not include funding for an ineffective border wall, it does fail to recognize that what’s best for the border region is accountability, investment, and infrastructure, not more military tactics and drones. Border communities are dynamic and vibrant. They need commerce, not militarization at taxpayer expense.”

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Trump’s Racism Rears Its Ugly Head as Bipartisan Senate Group Proposes Principles of a DACA Deal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Trump’s Racism Rears Its Ugly Head as Bipartisan Senate Group Proposes Principles of a DACA Deal

WASHINGTON — News media reported today that President Trump used racist comments aimed at people from African and Caribbean countries during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss a bipartisan proposal on immigration.

The reports came after a bipartisan group of senators announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on an immigration proposal that would include the Dream Act, along with border enforcement and other changes to the immigration system.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both chambers of Congress met with President Trump earlier this week to discuss a way toward a solution. At the meeting, everyone in the room seemed to agree on the urgency to pass a permanent legislative solution for immigrant youth, without getting bogged down in a broad conversation about immigration.

Trump created a crisis when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“President Trump’s repugnant statement today should remove any shred of doubt that his motivations behind DACA negotiations are blatantly racist. This is not a president who respects the dignity of people of color, and as Americans we must do everything in our power to resist this administration’s white supremacist agenda. Presidents are elected to represent all residents of this great country, and these painful comments stain the presidency. This is a disgraceful moment, one in which we must all stand up and say that the president does not speak for us.

“Words matter, especially when they are spoken by policymakers at the helm of our government. His words can embolden others to engage in hate crimes and hate speech. Those who have stood in lockstep with President Trump through these negotiations have a choice. It’s not enough to reject these repugnant remarks while advancing this administration’s agenda. Republicans, in particular, have an opportunity to denounce Trump’s comments and this administration’s white nationalist agenda. Racism has no place in our society, and all eyes are now on Congress to show which side of history they choose to be on.

Jonathan Jayes-Green, cofounder and director of UndocuBlack a national network of Black undocumented people, said:

“Haiti and the African countries Trump calls ‘shithole’ countries possess more dignity and strength than he will ever be able to comprehend in his lifetime. His comments today reflect his deeply rotten and racist soul and his intent to carry out a white supremacist agenda to make America white again. In case it wasn’t clear, this is what racism looks like, and we as Black immigrants know it all too well. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Trump blatantly disregards people of African descent. Congress, you have a choice to make: Either side with this racist agenda or protect immigrant communities now.”

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Anti-Immigrant Goodlatte Bill Is Not a Serious Proposal for Dreamers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Anti-Immigrant Goodlatte Bill Is Not a Serious Proposal for Dreamers

WASHINGTON — A group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a new bill to that would provide inadequate relief for some immigrant youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors. The bill, cosponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Martha McSally (R-AZ), calls for extreme border militarization and enforcement, along with sweeping changes to portions of the immigration system. It would not provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

President Trump created a crisis when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This bill fails to take into account that a vast majority of Americans, lawmakers, and the president himself agree that Dreamers should have a pathway to citizenship — and not at the expense of sweeping draconian policies aimed at terrorizing Dreamers’ parents, siblings, and loved ones.

“The same lawmakers behind this proposal were at a White House meeting yesterday at which everyone seemed to agree that the way toward finding a solution for immigrant youth was to narrow the conversation. This proposal does the opposite, seeking instead to tack on more elements of a white nationalist wish list to derail months of progress.

“The Securing America’s Future Act is nothing more than a thinly veiled poison pill, and it should be dismissed as such. We’ve been clear that the lives of immigrant youth are not bargaining chips.

“What we need is a permanent legislative fix that resolves the Trump-created DACA crisis once and for all. The solution is the bipartisan Dream Act.”

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The Bipartisan Dream Act Is a “Bill of Love”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

The Bipartisan Dream Act Is a “Bill of Love”

WASHINGTON — President Trump today met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers to discuss immigration. At the meeting, which was broadcast on national television, Trump appeared to endorse a narrow legislative deal to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for immigrant youth, which he called a “bill of love.”

Trump created a crisis in September when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program. Every day, an estimated 122 DACA recipients lose their eligibility to work in the U.S. and become vulnerable to detention and deportation.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“We need a real solution for Dreamers now — one that doesn’t use them as pawns to enact an extremist anti-immigrant agenda. With more than 15,000 DACA recipients having already lost their protections and many more facing an uncertain future, we hope that today’s meeting wasn’t a wasted day for Congress and the White House.

“Dreamers don’t need photo ops and empty words — they need lawmakers to do their jobs. If Trump is serious about signing a “bill of love,” the bipartisan Dream Act would resolve this crisis once and for all, without harming anybody.”

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Reported New Bipartisan Bill Underscores Momentum, Progress Toward a Solution for Immigrant Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 8, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Reported New Bipartisan Bill Underscores Momentum, Progress Toward a Solution for Immigrant Youth

WASHINGTON — News media today reported that Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-CA) will soon introduce a new bipartisan bill to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers. The bill will reportedly couple relief for immigrant youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors with some border and other enforcement provisions. It aims to be “as narrow as possible,” Hurd told CNN.

The Trump administration created a crisis in September when officials ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program. Every day an estimated 122 DACA recipients lose their eligibility to work and drive in the U.S., and become vulnerable to detention and deportation. More than 15,000 immigrant youth have already lost DACA protections.

The new bipartisan bill would be the latest of several legislative proposals, including the bipartisan Dream Act, under consideration by Congress as a means of enacting a permanent solution for immigrant youth.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“We have been clear all along that the Trump-created DACA crisis requires a swift and clean legislative fix. The lives of immigrant youth are not a bargaining chip to further President Trump’s wish list of an anti-immigrant agenda. However, we are encouraged to see continued bipartisan support for immigrant youth and potential progress toward a solution that would finally allow them a sense of security in this country, which is their home. Congress must continue moving in a positive direction. It must past the Dream Act now, without harming communities.”

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Statement on Trump’s Border Militarization Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Statement on Trump’s Border Militarization Proposal

WASHINGTON — President Trump today issued new demands to further militarize the U.S.-Mexico border, calling for $18 billion for an additional 700 miles of fencing, thousands of new Border Patrol agents, and increased immigration enforcement in the interior. Although the request for funding was made today, Senator Durbin (D-IL) pointed out that the proposal was, in fact, an old anti-immigrant wish list written by Stephen Miller, the architect of Muslim Ban 1.0 and a known crusader against DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Is President Trump serious about making a deal to fix the DACA crisis he created? This proposal, written months ago by anti-immigrant zealot Stephen Miller (whom Steve Bannon reportedly described as “my typist”), is more of an effort to foil an immigration deal than to make one. It is more than a waste of money; it is a thinly veiled attack upon the 15 million residents of this thriving part of our country.

“Our nation’s border communities — like all communities — need strong investments in infrastructure, public health, and education, not more extremist, expensive, ineffective, and offensive border wall proposals. If it wasn’t already clear, this proposal should show everyone that Stephen Miller and his cronies aren’t interested in moving our nation forward on enacting sensible policies; they’re simply using every opportunity they get to advance their extremist white nationalist agenda.”

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Statement on Budget Meeting Between White House, Congressional Leadership

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 3, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on Wednesday Budget Meeting Between White House, Congressional Leadership

WASHINGTON — Following a meeting today between White House officials and congressional leadership to discuss budget negotiations, Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration created a worsening crisis when it abruptly terminated the DACA program, devastating immigrant youth and their families. The administration is now holding hostage a fix for immigrant youth as it continues its pursuit of a Bannonesque, anti-immigrant agenda.

“The truth is that the American people have been clear: They want the Dream Act now. We will not be deterred or distracted by disingenuous statements clearly intended to derail the progress made toward arriving at a solution. And we will hold both parties accountable if they continue to delay.”

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New York Dreamers Formally Ask Federal Court to Reinstate DACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2017

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, media@nilc.org, 213-375-3149
Daniel Altschuler, Make the Road New York, daniel.altschuler@maketheroadny.org, 917-494-5922

New York Dreamers Formally Ask Federal Court to Reinstate DACA

BROOKLYN, NY — A group of “Dreamers” and their attorneys today formally asked a federal court in Brooklyn to block the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA. The motion for a preliminary injunction, if granted, would reinstate the program, allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrant young people currently covered by or eligible for DACA to continue applying for its protections.

“The heartless decision to end DACA has already uprooted thousands of people’s lives and caused immeasurable harm,” said Trudy Rebert, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. “We are asking the court to correct this unlawful and reckless decision and to provide necessary relief. Ultimately, this crisis needs a permanent fix, and only Congress can deliver that by passing the Dream Act.”

Established in 2012, DACA allows eligible immigrant youth to apply for protection for deportation and work permits in two-year increments. On Sept. 5, the Trump administration announced that it would abruptly end the program.

Batalla Vidal v. Duke, the first lawsuit filed challenging the termination of DACA, is brought by six New York “Dreamers”—Martín Batalla Vidal, Antonio Alarcon, Eliana Fernandez, Carolina Fung Feng, Mariano Mondragon, and Carlos Vargas—and Make the Road New York. They are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road New York, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn, alleges that the termination of DACA violated administrative law, equal protection, and due process guarantees enshrined in the Constitution. The motion filed today points to the imminent irreparable harm caused by the administration’s decision and asks the court to provide immediate relief by reversing the administration’s actions. Attorneys are also seeking to certify a class that would include all individuals who have or are eligible for DACA.

Antonio Alarcon, DACA recipient and youth organizer with Make the Road New York and a plaintiff in the case, said: “Trump’s heartless decision to end DACA has caused great harm to me and my family by putting my future in jeopardy. We’re filing for a preliminary injunction because what he did was not just wrong—it was illegal. And it’s already hurting thousands of Dreamers around the country who have lost protection. At the same time, we know that the real solution to the crisis Trump has caused is to pass the clean Dream Act before Christmas, and we’re going to fight every day to make sure that happens.”

Every day, an estimated 122 immigrant youth lose DACA protections, including their ability to work and contribute fully to their communities. More than 12,000 young people have lost DACA protections since Sept. 5.

One of the DACA recipients mentioned in the filing, Gustavo Galicia, 30, has lived in California since he was two years old. As an adult, he was diagnosed with end-stage renal failure. Galicia had to receive regular dialysis treatments for a decade until he got a kidney transplant earlier this year. Despite his precarious health condition, he has worked at the California Employment Development Department to help support his family, while he also took college classes. Losing his DACA would mean losing his job and his health insurance. He could face severe health consequences if he does not find an alternative way to pay for his medical costs. “If I lose my DACA in August, I would have to stop school again and focus on staying alive,” Galicia says in his declaration to the court.

A hearing on the motion for a preliminary injunction and class certification in the Brooklyn court is set for January 18, 2018.

The Memorandum of Law in Support of Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Batalla-Vidal-v-Nielsen-motion-for-prelim-injunct-2017-12-15.pdf.

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