Author Archives: Richard Irwin

Reported Trump Regulation Threatens Immigrant Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2019

CONTACT
National Immigration Law Center: Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375, [email protected]
Center for Law and Social Policy: Tom Salyers, 202-607-1074, [email protected]

Reported Trump Regulation Threatens Immigrant Families

Advocates promise unified resistance, urge massive public opposition

WASHINGTON — The Reuters news agency reported today that the Trump administration is preparing regulations that would allow the federal government to deport lawful permanent residents and other immigrants if they utilize any of an array of public programs aimed at reducing illness, hunger, and poverty.

Current law states that the government may not deport someone just for using public programs for which the person is qualified. Advocates for immigrant families, working families, health, nutrition, economic opportunity, children, older adults, and other communities have pledged to oppose the proposal, which Reuters described as likely to be formally proposed soon by the U.S. Justice Department.

“Our nation is at its strongest when all of us can utilize the food, health, housing, and other resources we need to thrive,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). “Immigrants are part of our families, communities, and society and should be allowed to use the programs their tax dollars support without fear of immigration consequences. This leaked proposal is yet another cruel attempt to close the door on new Americans and radically change our legal immigration system by creating a wealth test and doing an end-run around Congress. We are prepared to take Trump to court to defend our communities’ freedom to thrive.”

“The best way to strengthen our country is to strengthen the families who live in it. One-fourth of children in the U.S. today have at least one foreign-born parent, so our future depends on the success of immigrant families,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “We have to stand up against the cruel and harmful policies of this administration that threaten our society, reject our values, and force millions of families to go without the basic needs they need to thrive.”

“Public charge”–based attacks are reportedly a priority for Trump adviser Stephen Miller, architect of the administration’s plan to separate immigrant children from their parents and to jail them. If and when it is proposed, the Justice Department regulation will be subject to a public comment period before it can be finalized and implemented.

A related public charge proposal by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last fall was estimated to potentially affect about 26 million people nationwide. In addition to targeting immigrants with disabilities, who tend to be older and have lower incomes, that proposal would have put applications for admission to the U.S. or applications for a “green card” at risk if an immigrant uses Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP or “food stamps”), subsidies for Medicare, or certain types of housing assistance, including Section 8 rent vouchers. The proposal drew more than 266,000 public comments, overwhelmingly in opposition.

The new Justice Department proposal is a companion to the DHS public charge regulation. It expands the impact by putting immigrants at risk, including people with green cards, if they’ve accessed programs that meet basic needs. Though the DHS proposal has not yet been finalized, there are already widespread reports of immigrant families withdrawing from critical health and nutrition programs, including for their U.S. citizen children. Even a proposal to expand the deportation criteria will greatly enhance this chilling effect, causing immediate harm to millions of people.

For more information about community education and efforts to fight back against this pernicious proposed rule, visit www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org.

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PARA PUBLICACIÓN INMEDIATA
3 de mayo de 2019

CONTACTA
National Immigration Law Center (Centro Nacional de Leyes Migratorias): Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375, [email protected]
Center for Law and Social Policy: Tom Salyers, 202-607-1074, [email protected]

Regla propuesta por Trump amenaza a las familias inmigrantes

Los defensores de los inmigrantes prometen una resistencia unificada, urgen una oposición pública y masiva

WASHINGTON — La agencia de noticias Reuters informó hoy que la administración del presidente Trump está preparando regulaciones que permitirían al gobierno federal deportar a los residentes permanentes legales y otros inmigrantes si utilizan cualquiera de una serie de servicios públicos destinados a reducir las enfermedades, el hambre y la pobreza.

La ley actual establece que el gobierno no puede deportar a alguien solo por el uso de servicios públicos para los cuales la persona es elegible. Los defensores de las familias inmigrantes, de las familias trabajadoras, de la salud, de la nutrición, de las oportunidades económicas, de los niños, de los ancianos y de otras comunidades se han comprometido a oponerse a la propuesta, que, según Reuters, probablemente será propuesta oficialmente muy pronto por el Departamento de Justicia de EE.UU.

“Nuestra nación es más fuerte y saludable cuando todos podemos aprovechar de la comida, de la salud, de la vivienda y de otros recursos que necesitamos para prosperar”, dijo Marielena Hincapié, directora ejecutiva del Centro Nacional de Leyes Migratorias (NILC, por su sigla en ingés). “Los inmigrantes son parte de nuestras familias, de nuestras comunidades y de nuestra sociedad, y se les debe permitir usar los servicios que ellos apoyan con sus impuestos sin temor a las consecuencias de inmigración. Esta propuesta es otro intento cruel de cerrar la puerta a los nuevos americanos y cambiar radicalmente nuestro sistema de inmigración mediante la creación de una prueba de riqueza y con fin de evitar pasar legislación por los canales normales del Congreso. Estamos preparados a demandar a Trump para defender a nuestras comunidades”.

“La mejor manera de fortalecer nuestro país es fortalecer a las familias que viven aquí. Uno de cada cuatro de los niños en los EE.UU. tiene al menos un padre nacido en el extranjero, y por eso nuestro futuro depende del éxito de las familias inmigrantes”, dijo Olivia Golden, directora ejecutiva del Centro para Ley y Política Social (CLASP, por su sigla en inglés). “Tenemos que enfrentarnos a las políticas crueles y dañinas de esta administración que amenazan a nuestra sociedad, rechazan nuestros valores y obligan a millones de familias a vivir sin las cosas básicas que necesitan para prosperar”.

Los ataques basados ​​en la “carga pública” son una prioridad para el asesor de Trump Stephen Miller, arquitecto del plan de la administración para separar a los niños inmigrantes de sus padres y encarcelarlos. Cuando se proponga, el reglamento del Departamento de Justicia estará sujeto a un período de comentarios públicos antes de que se pueda finalizar e implementar.

Se estimó que una propuesta sobre la carga pública relacionada a esta y realizada por el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional de los EE.UU. (DHS, por su sigla en inglés) el otoño pasado podría afectar a aproximadamente 26 millones de personas en todo el país. Además de dirigirse a los inmigrantes con discapacidades, que tienden a ser mayores y con ingresos más bajos, esa propuesta habría puesto en riesgo las solicitudes de admisión a los EE.UU. o las solicitudes de residencia si un inmigrante usa Medicaid, el Programa de Asistencia de Nutrición Suplementaria (SNAP, por su sigla en inglés, también conocido como “cupones de comida”), subsidios para Medicare o ciertos tipos de asistencia para la vivienda, incluidos los comprobantes de alquiler de la Sección 8. La propuesta atrajo más de 266,000 comentarios públicos, abrumadoramente en oposición.

La nueva propuesta del Departamento de Justicia es un complemento a la regulación de la carga pública del DHS. Expande el impacto al poner en riesgo a los inmigrantes, incluidos a los residentes legales, si han usado servicios que satisfacen necesidades básicas. Aunque la propuesta del DHS aún no se ha finalizado, ya hay informes de familias inmigrantes que se han retirado de servicios críticos de salud y nutrición, incluso para sus hijos ciudadanos de los EE.UU. Una propuesta para ampliar los criterios de deportación incrementará enormemente este efecto escalofriante, causando un daño inmediato a millones de personas.

Para obtener más información para educar a la comunidad y sobre los esfuerzos para luchar contra esta regla perniciosa, visite www.protectingimmigrantfamilies.org.

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Research Shows a Citizenship Question Would Suppress Participation among Latinxs and Immigrants in the 2020 Census, Undermining Its Reliability (The Torch)

Research Shows a Citizenship Question Would Suppress Participation among Latinxs and Immigrants in the 2020 Census, Undermining Its Reliability

THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Holly Straut-Eppsteiner
APRIL 22, 2019

The U.S. Constitution requires a decennial census of all persons living in the country, and our nation has carried out this duty since 1790. Specifically, the census must count all people living in the U.S. and record where they live. These counts are crucial for determining each state’s number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, defining legislative districts, and distributing federal funding for state, local, and tribal governments. The census is also a vital source of population data. Therefore, it is imperative that each decade, the census is methodically planned and carried out.

Under the Trump administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce has proposed to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. This sudden change would have alarming implications.

Under the Enumeration Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the census must count everyone living in the country, regardless of their immigration status. Social scientists, policymakers, advocates, and even former directors of the Census Bureau have argued that introducing a citizenship question — which has not been tested — would have a chilling effect on the census response rate. This would undermine the reliability of census data by undercounting particular populations, especially low-income people and people of color who have already been undercounted in past iterations of the census.

Three federal judges have already found the addition of the citizenship question to be unlawful. Tomorrow, Tuesday, April 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments about the question (Dept. of Commerce v. New York; NILC attorneys drafted and filed a friend-of-the-court brief in this case).

Fears of the gravity of an undercount stemming from the proposed citizenship question are empirically supported by new research coming out of the San Joaquin Valley in California. Researchers from the San Joaquin Valley Census Research Project (SJVCRP) conducted 414 in-person surveys with Latinx immigrants and the U.S.-born, adult children of immigrants to determine whether they would respond to the 2020 census with or without the proposed citizenship question.

The San Joaquin Valley is a highly-populated area of the country, with 4.2 million residents. It has a higher-than-average concentration of foreign-born residents and is majority Latinx. It is also a growing community: the population is expected to reach 4.6 million people in 2020, the year the census will be conducted. Surveys for the SJVCRP reached people in locales in the San Joaquin valley ranging from small, rural communities to major cities.

Researchers uncovered a significant and troubling finding from this survey research: Fewer Latinx immigrant households will participate in the 2020 census if the question is implemented, which will result in an undercount. Without the citizenship question, 84 percent of respondents were willing to participate in the census; after including the citizenship question, however, willingness to participate dropped by almost half, to 46 percent. Willingness dropped among individuals across legal status: naturalized citizens, legal residents, and undocumented individuals.

In addition, declines in willingness to participate were especially notable among the “second generation,” that is, U.S.-born citizens who are children of immigrants. Fewer than half of those surveyed were willing to respond when the citizenship question was included. In fact, these U.S.-born citizens were much less likely to answer than naturalized citizens or legal residents.

These results indicate that a census that includes a citizenship question would not only fail to accurately measure the population, with an estimated 4.1 percent undercount, but also would misrepresent population demographics by undercounting first- and second-generation Latinx Americans by nearly 12 percent. Such an undercount is considered by some experts to be a failed census.

What’s at stake if such an undercount occurs in the San Joaquin Valley? Equitable political representation in Congress, for one thing, and at least $198 million in annual federal funding for residents of the valley. Researchers estimate that these results extrapolated to the state of California would cause an undercount of as many as 1.3 million people in the state, resulting in reduced congressional representation for Californians and annual funding losses ranging between $970 million and $1.5 billion.

The researchers conclude that “[p]roceeding with a politicized decennial census — widely understood by Latino first- and second-generation immigrants as compromising a potentially attractive collective endeavor, the process of ‘standing up and being counted’ to assure one’s community gets its fair share of federal funding and equitable political representation — will further erode already-wavering trust in government.”

We must protect the integrity of the census to ensure that all Americans are counted in 2020.


Holly Straut-Eppsteiner is NILC’s Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and research program manager.

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Worksite Immigration Raids Terrorize Workers and Communities Now, and Their Devastating Consequences Are Long-Term (The Torch)

Worksite Immigration Raids Terrorize Workers and Communities Now, and Their Devastating Consequences Are Long-Term

THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Holly Straut-Eppsteiner
APRIL 11, 2019

Early in the Trump administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials promised to increase worksite enforcement actions that specifically target immigrant workers. Subsequently, raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) Homeland Security Investigations have terrorized workers and communities across the country.

Since the raid on a meat processing facility in Bean Station, Tenn., resulted in the arrest of nearly 100 workers one year ago, a succession of raids has each been dubbed the “largest in a decade.” Last June, there were 146 arrests at Fresh Mark, a meat processing facility in Salem, Ohio. In August, 160 workers were arrested at Load Trail Trailer in Sumner, Tex. Most recently — last week — a raid on CVE Technology Group in Allen, Tex., resulted in the arrests of 284 workers.

Regardless of whether nearly 300 people are arrested, as happened last week in Allen, or 30 people, as during a February raid in Sanford, N.C., these raids are devastating for individuals, families, and communities. The people represented by these numbers are members of local communities: they are workers, parents, friends, and neighbors. While ICE typically claims that these “administrative arrests” are a secondary consequence of its investigations of employers’ criminal activity, it’s actually workers who end up suffering the most because of these investigations.

Workers who have lived through one of these raids describe how a normal workday suddenly transforms into multiple scenes of chaos infused with fear. In Tennessee, the National Immigration Law Center and co-counsel filed a lawsuit on behalf of workers whose constitutional rights were violated during last year’s highly militarized raid. One plaintiff, Martha Pulido, described the terror she experienced: “I showed up to work that morning just like I had every day for more than a year, ready to do my job and provide for my family. Instead, I had a gun pointed in my face and saw my coworkers get punched in the face and shoved to the ground by federal agents.”

In Texas last week, workers described “working like a normal day” before hearing “screaming” and their colleagues crying as workers reacted fearfully to ICE agents’ sudden appearance in their workplace, and as the agents made them separate into color-coded subgroups.

Amid the uncertainty workers and their families face, there is continuity in the sequence and pattern of consequences that flow from raids, large and small. Relatives and friends waiting outside workplaces to learn the fate of their loved ones, as some are taken away on buses to detention facilities. Working families hit with financial strain as they struggle to deal with lost income and the costs of posting bond. Children missing school in the days after raids and, in the longer term, both parents and children suffering the effects of toxic stress, trauma, and associated poor health outcomes. Ripple effects of fear and isolation among immigrant communities. Schools, religious and other community groups, and advocacy organizations rallying to support those impacted in the days and months after raids.

Raids conducted in the first decade of the 2000s, under the George W. Bush administration, are instructive for our longer-term expectations of such impacts. In 2008, a raid on a meat processing facility in Postville, Iowa, resulted in the arrest of 389 workers — nearly 20 percent of the town’s residents. Research shows that Iowa infants born to Latina mothers had significantly higher risk of low birthweight after Postville. Postville, the town, experienced long-term economic distress. Research from other raids during this period documents academic, social, and psychological harms to impacted children, as well as downward economic mobility and higher levels of food and housing insecurity for workers and families.

Whether or not the next worksite raid breaks recent records for the number of workers arrested, we can be sure that not only the workers themselves, but also the broader communities where the raids are staged, will suffer devastating consequences for years to come.


Holly Straut-Eppsteiner is NILC’s Mellon/ACLS Public Fellow and research program manager.


For more on these issues, see www.nilc.org/hsi-backgrounder-webpage/.

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No Ban Act Introduced in Congress to Repeal the Discriminatory Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2019

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

No Ban Act Introduced in Congress to Repeal the Discriminatory Muslim Ban

WASHINGTON — Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) and Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) announced today the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, or the “No Ban Act,” challenging the Trump administration’s Muslim ban. The ban, which has been in effect in one form or another since January 2017, has separated too many families and continues to have a devastating impact on American Muslim communities.

The No Ban Act would repeal each iteration of the Muslim ban, amend the Immigration and Nationality Act’s nondiscrimination provision to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on religion, and limit overreach by the federal government’s executive branch to introduce future, similar bans.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s senseless and deeply racist ban is a moral stain on this nation. Since it went into effect, it has torn apart countless families, and it continues to keep people senselessly separated from their loved ones to this day.

“While the Trump administration is peddling fear-mongering, congressional leaders are taking an important step via the No Ban Act to fight for an affirmative blueprint for making our communities healthy, safe, and welcoming for all who call this country home.

“The Muslim ban — along with family separation, mass detention, limiting access to critical services, and countless other abhorrent policies — is yet another pillar of this administration’s extreme anti-immigrant agenda and stands in stark contrast to our nation’s most sacred values of inclusivity and religious freedom. We continue to stand proudly with refugees and the American Muslim community and will fight in the halls of Congress, in courtrooms, at the ballot box, and alongside our communities until there is no Muslim ban ever.”

More information about the No Ban Act is available at www.nilc.org/2019/04/10/congress-adds-voice-to-fight-against-muslim-ban/.

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Congress Adds its Voice to the Fight Against the Muslim Ban (The Torch)

Congress Adds Its Voice to the Fight Against the Muslim Ban

THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Subha Varadarajan
APRIL 10, 2019

More than two years have passed since the Trump administration implemented the first version of its Muslim ban, and communities continue to suffer its consequences. The version of the ban currently in effect prevents nationals of five Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the United States. It separates families, deprives people of life-saving health care, and blocks their access to education and professional opportunities.

The original Muslim ban was the first of many horrific discriminatory policies that have come out of the Trump administration. Since the day Trump issued the first executive order establishing the ban, January 27, 2017, his administration has adopted and implemented many more xenophobic policies, including two additional iterations of the Muslim ban. Each subsequent iteration has had the same discriminatory intention of banning Muslims from entering the U.S., and each version was immediately challenged in the courts. Unfortunately, on June 26, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court turned a blind eye to the injustices inherent in the ban, and it allowed the ban’s third iteration to go into full effect.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision, the Trump administration has continued its attack on immigrant communities — abuses like detaining family members separately from each other, attempting to change the rules about who is considered a “public charge” for immigration purposes, and issuing yet another ban, this one targeting Central American asylum-seekers attempting to enter the U.S. at the border with Mexico. Notwithstanding all the other horrific policies that have been introduced and implemented under President Trump, the Muslim ban continues to be one of the administration’s worst signature policies.

Although a number of important bills have been introduced in Congress to defund the ban’s implementation or require more oversight, none of them have language that would prevent a future ban. Today for the first time, a set of bills was introduced whose aim is to repeal all iterations of the Muslim ban and prevent any future president from enacting a new, similar ban.

Today, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (No Ban) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Due to the hard work of many coalition partners, this bill includes the pieces essential not only to repeal the Muslim ban but also to create barriers against issuing any new ban. The No Ban Act would amend sections of the Immigration Nationality Act (INA) that Trump used as legal authority to create all his various bans. In addition, this legislation is a perfect complement to other legislative efforts, such as HR.810 and S.246, that would prevent American taxpayer dollars from being used to implement the Muslim ban.

Outlined below are the specific reasons why the No Ban Act is a meaningful bill that members of Congress need to get behind:

Repeals all iterations of the Muslim and other bans

This bill would repeal all three iterations of Trump’s Muslim ban, his refugee/extreme-vetting-of-refugees ban, and his asylum ban. The inclusion of each type of ban is vital, since they are all based on the same discriminatory intent.

  • The refugee ban is just another iteration of the Muslim ban. It specifically targets the parts of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program that have accounted for 80 percent of all Muslim refugees resettled in the U.S. in the past two years.
  • The asylum ban was issued based on the same INA authority as the Muslim ban, but targeting asylum-seekers at the southern U.S. border.

Expands the INA’s nondiscrimination provision

This bill would broaden the INA’s nondiscrimination provision by adding religion to the list of protected classes. This addition would also apply to all visa applicants, immigrant and nonimmigrant. The primary motivation for Trump’s ban is religious animus, and this revision seeks to prevent a policy based on similar animus from being implemented in the future.

Limits authority to suspend or restrict the entry of a class of non–U.S. citizens

Most importantly, this bill would amend INA section 212(f), the section that Trump claimed as legal authority to create the Muslim and asylum bans, to require that additional criteria be met before the entry of a person or class of people may be banned. This amendment would limit the ability for a future president to create any type of ban, including but not limited to bans of Muslims, refugees, or asylum-seekers.

Requires more reporting on the implementation of administration policies

This bill would require retroactive reporting on the implementation of each of the Muslim bans. It would also trigger periodic reporting on any future use of INA section 212(f), thus providing Congress with more information to use in conducting its oversight duties.

WE URGE YOU TO REACH OUT to your congressional representative and senators to encourage them to cosponsor the No Ban Act. Two ways to do this are by signing the #RepealTheBan petition and calling your members of Congress. It is imperative that we stand united against white nationalism and #RepealTheBan once and for all.


Subha Varadarajan is NILC’s Muslim and refugee ban legal and outreach fellow.

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NILC Statement on Yearlong Extension of DED Protections for Liberians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 28, 2019

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

NILC Statement on Yearlong Extension of DED Protections for Liberians

WASHINGTON — The White House today extended deferred enforced departure (DED) protections for Liberians for 12 more months, through March 30, 2020. The announcement comes just days before DED protections for Liberians were set to expire on March 31, 2019.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Trump administration’s decision to extend DED protections for Liberians is the right thing to do and a testament to the organizing efforts of many Liberians and other members of our communities who are fighting to secure their futures in the U.S. — their home.

“Twelve additional months of DED protections is welcome relief for thousands of families who were days away from losing deportation protections and the ability to continue fully contributing to their communities. However, temporary relief is not enough. Congress must act urgently on a permanent solution for people with DED and other immigrant communities whose futures the Trump administration has thrown into limbo.

“The Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, would provide a long overdue pathway to U.S. citizenship for people with DED, TPS, and immigrant youth. Similar bipartisan legislation was also introduced in the Senate this week. Congress must prioritize passing these bills as a first step toward inclusive solutions on immigration that benefit all of us in the long term.”

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Senators Take Important Step to Protect Immigrant Youth and People with TPS or DED

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2019

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Senators Take Important Step to Protect Immigrant Youth and People with TPS or DED

WASHINGTON — Two bills introduced in the U.S. Senate today would provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for certain immigrants whose futures in the U.S., the country they call home, have been thrown into uncertainty by President Trump. Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) reintroduced the bipartisan Dream Act, legislation that would provide permanent protections for eligible immigrant youth, as the fate of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) remains unclear. Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced an updated version of the SECURE Act, which would similarly protect people with temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED). DED protections for Liberians are set to expire on March 31, 2019.

Today’s Senate bill introductions follow the introduction of the Dream and Promise Act, H.R. 6, two weeks ago in the House of Representatives. The Dream and Promise Act is the first standalone bill to address, simultaneously, the fate of immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED. The bill currently has more than 218 cosponsors.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The introductions of the Dream Act and the SECURE Act in the Senate are critical steps in the right direction. For senators to introduce the two bills on the same day underscores the need for a refreshed legislative approach that considers, as a first step, the fate of longstanding members of our communities whose need for permanent protections is far overdue.

“The fate of the millions of immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED has become only more urgent since their lives were thrown into uncertainty by the Trump administration’s racist and xenophobic efforts to criminalize, detain, and deport as many people in our communities as possible. Congress needs to act urgently to resolve the untenable status quo created by Trump, with an eye toward inclusivity and what will benefit all of us in the long term.”

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Today’s Violence in New Zealand a Horrific Example of the Consequences of Islamophobia and White Supremacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2019

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

Today’s Violence in New Zealand a Horrific Example of the Consequences of Islamophobia and White Supremacy

LOS ANGELES — At least 49 Muslim worshippers were killed this morning in an act of mass violence perpetrated by a white supremacist in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attack has been condemned by domestic and global leaders.

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

“Our hearts ache for the friends and families of the victims, and for the global Muslim community. The Muslim community in New Zealand was attacked in what should be a safe place for all: the sanctuary of a religious space. This act of mass violence, rooted in Islamophobia and xenophobia, has been rightly condemned by many global leaders. Sadly, some of our own domestic leaders have fanned the flames of Islamophobia and white supremacy for far too long and in ways that are replicated across the globe.

“The fear and hatred espoused by domestic and foreign policymakers has direct and devastating consequences. We have already seen far too many examples of violent white supremacists who have felt empowered to carry out heinous attacks because of hateful and xenophobic rhetoric from those in power. These attacks have occurred in other places of worship, like the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, and at peaceful gatherings like the 2017 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Today, as we mourn this tragic loss, we must remember that we all — especially leaders in positions of power — have a moral obligation to stand with our neighbors and reject Islamophobia and white supremacy in any form.

“In times of such heartbreaking tragedy, we must come together with even more strength and determination. We must denounce white nationalism and supremacy in all its forms. No one should fear for their safety when attending their house of worship or simply because of the way they look or how they pray. We at NILC stand in solidarity with our Muslim allies, and we will continue to fight tirelessly for dignity for all.”

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Senate Rebukes Trump’s Attempts to Subvert Congress to Fund Border Wall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2019

CONTACT
[email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

Senate Rebukes Trump’s Attempts to Subvert Congress to Fund Border Wall

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate today passed a resolution to reverse President Trump’s February national emergency declaration. Trump declared an emergency at the southern border last month, while simultaneously admitting it was unnecessary, to divert billions of taxpayer dollars for a southern border wall. Congress has repeatedly refused Trump’s budget requests for the unpopular, wasteful, and hate-driven project.

The president has said that he will use his first veto to override the resolution, which passed the House of Representatives on Feb. 26.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Senate vote today is yet another clear rebuke of Trump’s demands for a border wall, once again signaling to the president that he cannot steal billions of taxpayer dollars to fund his xenophobic political stunt. Trump put in jeopardy the well-being of hundreds of thousands of workers and the American public when he instigated the longest government shutdown in the country’s history for the sake of his wall. When he still didn’t get a blank check for his racist monument, he declared a made-up national emergency so he could steal taxpayer dollars, ignoring the authority of Congress as a coequal branch of our government. This is a reckless way to run the country, threatens the stability of our democracy, and puts countless lives and communities, and our environment, at risk.

“Trump has made it clear that he will stop at nothing to advance his cruel vision of a border wall, refusing to listen to voters, Congress, or the communities that will suffer as a result. He has a responsibility to heed the will of the American people and not use his veto authority to pave the way for this unconstitutional power grab.”

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Dream and Promise Act: An Important Step Forward for Our Communities (The Torch)

DREAM AND PROMISE ACT
An Important Step Forward for Our Communities

THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Diana Pliego
MARCH 14, 2019

Earlier this week, a bill — the Dream and Promise Act of 2019 — was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that would provide long-overdue, permanent relief to people who have become even more vulnerable since President Trump and his administration stripped them of protections from deportation.

By providing permanent protections and a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers and people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED), this bill combines prior efforts to protect these populations. It recognizes that, in many ways, the people who comprise these communities are similarly impacted and, in some cases, are even part of the same households. It also importantly combines efforts to advocate alongside all these communities and build stronger alliances. While the Trump administration seeks to dismantle our immigration system with death by a thousand cuts to our communities, it’s important that we fight back, together.

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) joined forces with Reps. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) and Yvette Clarke (D-NY), who’d previously championed their own bills to protect people with TPS and DED, to introduce a strong bill that would provide the long-overdue protections these communities have needed, but that now are more urgently needed than ever. We know Trump is intent on stripping our communities of protections so that they are left vulnerable to detention and deportation — and that is exactly why the Dream and Promise Act is timely.

While there are aspects of the bill we are committed to making stronger, we believe the introduction of this bill is a major step forward in securing protections we need, and we hope you will join us in urging your members of Congress to support this bill. Here’s why:

The Dream and Promise Act provides a clear, attainable pathway to U.S. citizenship. For Dreamers, people with DACA, TPS, or DED, and others eligible for such statuses who may not have applied, the United States is their home — and, in many cases, has been for decades. We are integral members of our communities and have a future here. By providing permanent protections and a pathway to citizenship for these communities, this legislation recognizes that we are Americans in all but “paper” and deserve to live our lives with security and stability in the place we call home.

The bill does not trade granting protections to some communities for funding harm to others. This is a critical point. This bill does not trade protections for immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED for further militarization of our border communities or expanded immigration policing of our communities or detention of immigrants — a tradeoff that would only inflict more pain on our communities and result in more deportations. It also does not make any changes to existing channels of immigration in exchange for protections.

The Dream and Promise Act shows that our communities will fight together, not against each other. By providing protections for immigrant youth and people with TPS or DED, we are making it clear that our communities cannot be pitted against each other in Trump’s policy games. We are not pawns in some game. And together, we will raise our voices and win the protections we deserve.

We hope you will join us in this fight for permanent protections for our communities. We can’t do this without you, and we hope we can count on you to celebrate and keep up the fight until all our communities get the protections they deserve.


Diana Pliego is a NILC policy associate and a DACA recipient.


A section-by-section summary of the bill is available at www.nilc.org/dream-and-promise-act-section-by-section/.

A short summary of the bill is available at www.nilc.org/summary-of-dream-and-promise-act-of-2019/.

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