Author Archives: Victoria Johnson

From Japanese-American Internment Camps to the Muslim Ban: The Terrible Consequences of Discriminatory Executive Orders

From Japanese-American Internment Camps to the Muslim Ban: The Terrible Consequences of Discriminatory Executive Orders

By John Yuasa, guest blogger
July 27, 2017

“An Executive Order put my family in a Concentration Camp.” That was the sign I carried as I joined thousands of other people at Los Angeles International Airport to protest the executive order of Jan. 27, 2017, that initiated the Trump administration’s Muslim ban.

Let me explain. In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the removal and incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. People had just a few days to prepare and were permitted to bring only what they could carry. Many families suffered crushing economic losses as they hurriedly sold their farms, homes, and businesses.

At that time, my California-born U.S. citizen parents were expecting their first child—me. My parents, who lived in Oakland, were sent to the Tanforan Assembly Center, a converted racetrack that had about 180 barracks, located just south of San Francisco. Twenty-six of the buildings were converted horse stalls, with cardboard installed in the upper portion of the walls between the stalls. There was no privacy between the families that were living in each stall. The barracks were filthy and fetid—filled with horse flies, fleas, and dried manure and urine smells. Tanforan was surrounded by a barbed wire fence, with armed military police on guard.

Once I was born and able to travel, we were taken by train to the Topaz “Relocation Center,” more accurately described as a prison camp. Topaz held more than 8,000 people in approximately one square mile of land. It was located about 100 miles southwest of Salt Lake City, in an arid desert that varied from over 100 degrees in the summer to below zero in the winter. Strong winds blew sand everywhere, including into the living quarters and everyone’s food. The crudely constructed barracks provided little protection against the extreme weather. The camp was patrolled by 85 to 150 soldiers and was also surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Manned watchtowers with searchlights were placed every quarter mile around the perimeter of the camp.

I had never been back to that site of my infant incarceration, but the recent grand opening of the Topaz Museum, in Delta, Utah, offered me a reason to return. The ceremonies that took place reminded all of us what it is to be free and how hatred, prejudice, and discrimination can enable a government to incarcerate people who have committed no crimes, without any opportunity for legal due process.

In 1942, the government’s position was that national security required this policy on internment. However, in 1982, the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians issued its report, which documented a far different reason. In its specific findings and recommendations, it states that the broad historical causes were “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.”

Now, for no other reasons than prejudice, national security hysteria, and a failure of political leadership, the president has decided that people attempting to escape persecution by coming to the United States present a national security risk—solely for being Muslim. We cannot allow this unconstitutional order to stand. Please join me in being an active participant in our democratic process to ensure that our laws and regulations against discrimination are enforced and, where necessary, strengthened.

John Yuasa is a former Peace Corps volunteer, deputy director of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance in the Department of Labor, and nonprofit executive.


While We’re Watching the Trumpcare Train Wreck, Let’s Not Allow Our Dollars to Fund Trump’s Wall and Deportation Machine

While We’re Watching the Trumpcare Train Wreck, Let’s Not Allow Our Dollars to Fund Trump’s Wall and Deportation Machine

By Jackie Vimo, economic justice policy analyst
July 21, 2017

It has been another eventful week in Washington, DC, under the Trump administration. Congress continues to dominate headlines with its failing efforts to repeal Obamacare and leave millions without health care; threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may put 800,000 youth at risk of deportation; and yesterday the bipartisan Durban-Graham DREAM Act was introduced.

Meanwhile, the battle over the federal budget continues behind the scenes, and it looks like we are about to be hit by a “minibus” next week that would fund President Trump’s $1.6 billion wall and mass deportation machine. Trump needs our tax dollars to pay for his anti-immigrant agenda, and Congress must approve the federal budget. Now it is up to taxpayers to get the word out to their representatives in Congress that they refuse to fund hate and fear at the expense of vital social programs.

Remember when Mexico was going to pay for the border wall? Now Trump wants you as a taxpayer to foot the bill by trading jobs, health care, the environment, and education for his divisive monument to xenophobia at the southern border.

Back in May, Trump released his Fiscal Year 2018 budget, asking Congress to pour $23 billion of your tax dollars into the boots, walls, and detention facilities that make up his out-of-control deportation machine. Trump’s budget pays for this “deportation force” by giving tax cuts to the rich and slashing crucial programs such as Medicaid, Social Security, and education. The House of Representatives has responded with a proposed budget that gives Trump almost all of what he asked for. Last Tuesday, the House Appropriations Committee, chaired by Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ-11), marked up and approved an appropriation bill that funds key elements of President Trump’s proposed immigration budget. Some of the “lowlights” include:

  • full funding of $1.6 billion for Trump’s “border wall”
  • $185 million to hire additional U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Border Patrol officers
  • $4.4 billion for detention and removal programs, including funding to expand by more than 4,600 the capacity of detention camps that house children and families

Congress has until the end of September to pass its budget; but with Trump saying that Congress shouldn’t leave for its August recess unless it makes progress on his administration’s agenda, the budget presents an opportunity to sneak in a victory for the white nationalists among his base amidst the ashes of efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.

However, with Congress sharply divided and dissent rankling the GOP from within, passing a twelve-bill omnibus budget is no simple task.

Enter the “minibus.” It’s a package of spending bills that Congress wants to push through next week (the last week of July). It includes four bills to fund the Defense Department, military construction and Veterans Affairs, energy and water programs, and the federal government’s legislative branch. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has also stated that the minibus will include $1.6 billion for Trump’s border wall. McCarthy and other members of Congress are hoping that they can drive this minibus through a vote quietly. It’s up to us to block its path.

The proposed Trump budget, the House’s Trump copycat budget, and the “minibus” are all examples of out-of-control spending for unnecessary immigration enforcement that does nothing but tear families apart at the expense of urgently needed programs. With the price of the $185.6 million Trump and Congress are seeking to hire 1,000 additional ICE officers and 606 support staff, we could replace 37,000 lead water pipes, like the ones that poisoned families in Flint, Michigan. Instead of spending $100 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol agents, we could give 12,000 toddlers access to quality early education through Head Start. And $1.6 billion for the construction of Trump’s border wall could provide health care coverage for 1 million uninsured children through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). We should be funding bridges, not walls.

The time is now to get the word out to our representatives that the minibus must not pass, and neither must any spending bill that cuts social programs and writes more blank checks to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda. It is our taxpayer dollars that would fuel the minibus or any increases to funding for immigration enforcement in the federal budget. We have an obligation to let our representatives know that we refuse to fund hate and fear and to foot the bill for Trump’s deportation force.

Congress can try to sneak through the “minibus,” but we can stop them if we keep watching and cut off their supply of taxpayer dollars. Our taxpayer dollars should reflect our priorities and values by funding stronger families and communities, not fear. We need to send a strong message to Congress: #DefundHate by rejecting the Trump budget, so we can #FundFamiliesNotFear.

To get involved in the campaign to #DefundHate and stand up against Trump’s attack on immigrants, sign up at


What Does it Mean That the Supreme Court Asked for the Solicitor General’s View on the Arizona DACA Driver’s License Case?

What Does it Mean That the Supreme Court Asked for the Solicitor General’s View on the Arizona DACA Driver’s License Case?

By Hannah Coleman, NILC intern
July 17, 2017

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court issued an invitation for the United States solicitor general to file a brief expressing the federal government’s view of our case Brewer v. Arizona Dream Act Coalition.

Arizona requested the Court take up the case after an appeals court affirmed the state could not discriminate against DACA beneficiaries in issuing driver’s licenses. The Court in turn requested the view of the solicitor general. Though the request to the Solicitor General’s Office is not unusual, some were left wondering whether that held any implications for the DACA program overall.

Here is some information on this common practice:

Who is the solicitor general and what does he do?

The solicitor general is the Department of Justice’s officer responsible for representing the federal government of the United States before the Supreme Court. Additionally, the Court can ask for the solicitor general’s view through what is called a “Call for the Views of the Solicitor General” or a “CVSG.”  The solicitor general then submits a legal brief to the Court in which he offers his opinions on whether the Court should hear the case. Jeffrey Wall is the current acting solicitor general.

What is the process for CVSGs?

The most common types of cases that receive CVSGs are cases implicating the interests of the federal government, cases with the potential to shape an important area of law, and cases involving complex regulatory or statutory schemes.

Even though CVSGs are described as “invitations,” the Solicitor General’s Office views them as orders, and the solicitor general responds to every invitation it receives from the Supreme Court. During the 2016 term, the solicitor general filed 20 CVSG briefs, and in the 2015 term the solicitor general filed 15 briefs.

Before drafting its brief, the Solicitor General’s Office frequently meets with counsel in the case to better understand the legal issues, litigation history, and record, and consults with interested departments and agencies in the federal government.

Even though the Court is seeking the views of the solicitor general to determine whether the Court should hear the case, the solicitor general often makes additional recommendations as to how the Court should rule on the merits of a case.  However, a data set of CVSGs from 2001-2004 reveals that “[t]he Court’s ultimate decision on the merits is not highly correlated to the Solicitor General’s merits recommendation in his invitation brief.”

How long will it take for the solicitor general to file a brief for Brewer v. Arizona Dream Act Coalition?

The Supreme Court did not impose a filing deadline for the solicitor general’s brief in this case, and this is not surprising given the Court usually does not impose a deadline on the solicitor general. Therefore, we do not know exactly when the solicitor general will file his brief.  A data set from 2001-2004 reveals that the solicitor general takes, on average, over four months to file the brief.

We surveyed all CVSG briefs filed by the solicitor general between May 20, 2016, and May 23, 2017 (27 total) and found that the average filing time is still over four months. However, we note that the timing is unpredictable. For example, the shortest response time was just over two months, while the longest response time was over eight months.

We also found that for invitations, like the one in Brewer v. ADAC, that were received in late spring or early summer, the solicitor general typically files the briefs between August and December.

What are the different recommendations that the solicitor general can make?

The two most common recommendations are for the Court to agree to hear the case (accept certiorari) or to decline to hear the case (deny certiorari).  There are instances where the solicitor general has made other recommendations (for example, that the Court hold the case pending the outcome of a different case, or grant a recommendation to a companion case), but these are less common.

From May 20, 2016, to May 23, 2017, the solicitor general recommended the Court deny certiorari in 17 instances (63 percent); accept certiorari in 9 instances (33.3 percent), and wait for the resolution of a related case in one instance (3.7 percent). These percentages are similar to the data from 2001-2004.

Does the Supreme Court typically follow the solicitor general’s recommendation?

Yes, but only with respect to whether it hears the case. Out of the 27 CVSGs filed between May 20, 2016, and May 23, 2017, the Supreme Court followed the solicitor general’s recommendation in 23 cases (or 85 percent).  This is consistent with the 2001-2004 study, which finds that the Court followed the recommendation of the solicitor general in 79.6 percent of the cases surveyed.  However, as discussed above, if the Supreme Court does take the case, there is not the same kind of strong connection between what the solicitor general recommends on how the Supreme Court should rule and what the Court actually ends up deciding.

What happens next and what, if anything, does it mean for the DACA program overall?

Once the solicitor general submits his brief, the Supreme Court will then decide whether to take the case. If the Court decides not to take the case, then the Ninth Circuit decision, permanently blocking Arizona’s DACA driver’s license ban, will remain the final word on the case. If the Court decides to take the case, the case will then move forward to be briefed, argued, and eventually decided by the Supreme Court.

We do not know what position the solicitor general will take, if any, with regards to the continuing validity of the DACA program, especially since it is not a guarantee that this issue will be addressed by the Court in this case. However, it is ultimately the president who must affirm his support for DACA and the over 800,000 individuals and their communities who stand to lose so much if the program were eliminated.


New Evidence Proves Deported DACA Recipient Juan Manuel Montes Was Kicked Out of the U.S. by Immigration Officials Against His Will

July 14, 2017

Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

New Evidence Proves Deported DACA Recipient Juan Manuel Montes Was Kicked Out of the U.S. by Immigration Officials Against His Will

Montes’s attorneys ask the court to order his return home

LOS ANGELES — Attorneys representing Juan Manuel Montes, the first known Dreamer to be unlawfully removed by the Trump administration despite being protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, today introduced new evidence that proves he was unlawfully expelled from the United States. Attorneys are asking the court to order Montes’s return home immediately.

“Juan Manuel was ripped from his family and community in the dead of night without a chance to even say goodbye, collect his belongings, or find a safe place to stay,” said Nora A. Preciado, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center. “He and his mother have suffered enormous emotional trauma, as has the rest of his family. The court can and should bring him back home.”

Montes, 23, was physically removed to Mexico in February, despite having permission to live and work in the United States. He is represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Covington & Burling LLP, the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, and the Law Offices of Belinda Escobosa Helzer.

The new evidence includes several dozen pages of declarations which, taken together, paint a complete picture of what happened to Montes the night he was physically expelled and the following day when he was stranded in Mexicali. These accounts range from expert testimony, friends who spoke with Montes before and after he was removed, and time-stamped Facebook Messenger records.

They also describe the fallout for Montes and his family. Montes’s mother, who has chosen not to publicly reveal her name, said: “Juan Manuel has not been the same since he was deported. He is not doing well. We talk almost daily and he sounds very depressed. He often cries when we talk. He tells me he misses our family, our home, his things, his friends, and his school. He does not know what to do in Mexico. He wants to come home because he feels lost and alone there.”

Immigration officials detained Montes near the U.S.-Mexico border in Calexico, Calif., on Feb. 18, after he had been visiting a friend at her house nearby. At the time, he did not have his wallet, which contained his state identification card and federal work permit.

The officials took Montes to a nearby facility and held him for several hours. Then, without explaining why or giving him an opportunity to consult an attorney or go before a judge, they forced him across the border to Mexicali, Mexico, in the darkness of the night.

In April, Montes sued the federal government, who had refused to turn over any information that could shed light on his unlawful removal. In response, the Department of Homeland Security told the media that Montes’s DACA had expired, but that was false. They later changed their story, falsely claiming that he left the country voluntarily without permission to re-enter.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has denied any record of any interaction with Montes the night of Feb. 18.

“The government initially denied that Juan Manuel had DACA, but that was false.  The government then proclaimed that Juan Manuel left the country of his own volition, but that too defies the facts.  As demonstrated by our filing today, Juan Manuel was unlawfully expelled from the United States, and the government must bring him back,” said Mónica Ramírez Almadani, an attorney with Covington & Burling LLP in Los Angeles.

On the night Montes was physically removed to a city he remembered only vaguely from his childhood, he contacted friends. One friend, who was also in Mexicali, saw him briefly that night. Another, who crossed the border to see him the next morning, helped him find a place to rest after he spent the night wandering the streets alone. That friend also encouraged Montes get in touch with his mother, who sent him clothes and some personal belongings in a suitcase.

After picking up the suitcase near the port of entry, Montes was robbed at knifepoint by two men, who beat him. Scared, he jumped the border fence back into the U.S. He was apprehended by Border Patrol and deported once again. Until now, U.S. immigration officials have only acknowledged this interaction with Montes.

Montes is currently staying with family in Mexico.

Today’s filing is available at


Juan Manuel


Federal Court Judge Expands “Bona Fide” Relationships Protected Under Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban Stay

July 14, 2017

Charlie DiPasquale, 240-481-6632,

Federal Court Judge Expands “Bona Fide” Relationships Protected Under Trump Administration’s Muslim Ban Stay

WASHINGTON — A federal district court issued an order clarifying the U.S. Supreme Court’s injunction regarding the type of relationships that constitute a “bona fide” tie to the United States and are thus protected from the Trump administration’s discriminatory Muslim ban.

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

“The federal district court clarified for the country what almost every grandchild, niece, and extended family member has long known: that grandmothers, aunts, and other family members are invaluable members of our families and communities, and should be treated as such. The Supreme Court’s ruling may have opened the door to the Muslim and refugee ban, but the Trump administration tried to bust the door off its hinges. In chiding the Trump administration’s interpretation as “the antithesis of common sense,” the district court order provides protections to a more inclusive group and will help serve of the needs of all refugees and immigrants seeking admission to the United States.

“Today’s order once again makes it clear that this administration is willing to play fast and loose with the law in order to suit its xenophobic agenda.

“While a partial ban remains in effect as a result of last month’s Supreme Court ruling, this decision limits its application to ensure that fewer refugees, families and loved ones are discriminated against based solely on their religion or country of origin. For us, and for our clients, today’s decision represents an important step in speaking out against the ban in any form and in the path toward justice and fair treatment for all.”



House Spending Bill Rubber-stamps Trump Deportation Machine

July 12, 2017

Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279,

House Spending Bill Rubber-stamps Trump Deportation Machine

WASHINGTON – The United States House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security is scheduled to consider legislation today funding key elements of President Donald Trump’s immigration budget. The bill provides $1.6 billion for Trump’s border wall, as well as $185 million to hire additional Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, staffing up the president’s “deportation force.” It also provides $4.4 billion for detention and removal programs, including funding to expand by more than 4,600 the capacity of detention camps that house children and families.

This provides a substantial down payment on the president’s proposal to increase immigration enforcement funding by $23.5 billion. That budget also proposes hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts over ten years to health care, nutrition, anti-poverty initiatives, housing, clean water programs, energy conservation, the arts, and other priorities.

Responding to the Subcommittee’s draft spending bill, the National Immigration Law Center released the following statement from its executive director, Marielena Hincapié:

“President Trump is out of control, and his immigration enforcement budget is yet another example of how radical his administration is if left unchecked. It uses billions of our tax dollars to rip families apart, and to fund his deportation machine, Trump slashes funding for priorities such as education, environmental protection, and health care.

“The $1.6 billion this bill wastes on Trump’s wall could provide health care for more than a million uninsured children. The $185 million it spends to build Trump’s deportation force could triple the highly effective Energy Star program, which helps consumers save money, helps protect children and families from power plant pollution, and improves the reliability of America’s power grid. The $4.4 billion it spends to jail kids and families could provide nutritious meals to nearly 5 million children under the National School Lunch Program.

“Americans are facing real, serious problems. Rather than solve them, President Trump wants to create new ones with a deportation machine designed to tear families apart. The subcommittee bill rubber-stamps that radical, anti-immigrant agenda, and we urge lawmakers to reject it. If the subcommittee do not reject it, it’s up to the full appropriations committee and its chairman, Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, to build a budget that funds families, not fear.”



Increasing the Number of Uninsured Would Hurt Everyone

Increasing the Number of Uninsured Would Hurt Everyone

By Gabrielle Lessard, senior policy attorney
July 6, 2017

Congressional efforts to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would dramatically increase the number of uninsured people in the U.S., and that would be bad for everyone.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that implementation of the Senate’s proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would increase the number of uninsured people to 49 million by 2026. The BCRA’s burdens would fall disproportionately on low-income consumers, children and seniors, with Medicaid spending cut by 26 percent by 2026 and by 35 percent by 2036.

Immigrants would be directly impacted if the BCRA became law because under the current Affordable Care Act lawfully present immigrants (with the exception of DACA recipients) are eligible to obtain health plans and income-based subsidies through the health care exchanges. The BCRA would strip eligibility from all but the subset of lawfully present immigrants deemed “qualified” under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996.  Many immigrants with humanitarian statuses or circumstances, applicants for lawful permanent resident status with approved visa petitions, and others would lose eligibility under the bill.

A policy that increases the number of uninsured people is bad for everyone because the lack of access to health insurance produces adverse physical and economic consequences for individuals, families and communities.

Being uninsured has been correlated with poorer quality of health care, lower rates of preventive care, and greater probability of death. Many uninsured people avoid seeking medical care unless they are faced with an emergency, or delay care until their symptoms become intolerable. As a result, the uninsured are less likely to receive a diagnosis in the early stages of a disease and are more likely to suffer complications from aggravated medical conditions. They are at particular risk from diseases that are asymptomatic or produce only minor symptoms, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

Health insurance also plays a major role in managing financial risk for individuals and families. Families with even one uninsured member face stigma, anxiety and the potential for financial catastrophe. Uninsured individuals who become hospitalized experience a host of financial setbacks over the next four years, including reduced access to credit, a 170 percent increase in unpaid medical bills, and a significantly higher likelihood of filing for bankruptcy.

The economic consequences of poor health extend beyond individuals and families.

People without insurance are often in poor health, which results in multiple dimensions of lost economic productivity: adults whose health status prevents them from working, workers who miss time from their jobs because of health problems, and workers who are working but less productive because of their health conditions or worries about a family member. Health-related productivity losses are estimated to reduce U.S. economic output by $260 billion a year.

Importantly, providing healthcare creates jobs and drives economic activity. A Commonwealth Fund analysis of the House “repeal and replace” bill, which is similar to BCRA, found that implementation of the bill would result in the loss of 924,000 jobs and a $148 billion decrease in business output by 2026.

The presence of a high concentration of uninsured individuals compromises access to health care for entire communities. Health systems prefer to invest in affluent areas that have higher rates of insurance. Physicians generally prefer working in newer, more up-to-date facilities over under-resourced health centers in low-income communities. Hospitals in areas with high rates of uninsured struggle with recruiting on-call specialists, resulting in longer wait times for emergency room visitors – regardless of their health insurance status. Lower rates of insurance within a community result in a decrease in availability of primary, preventive, specialty, and hospital-based care services, and may result in the closure or privatization of local community hospitals.

When many members of a community are uninsured, all members of the community are affected. Both the insured and the uninsured benefit physically and financially when every person in a community has access to affordable health coverage. It is in everyone’s interest to promote access to health care for all. Congressional health care proposals that would add millions to the number of uninsured are shortsighted and self-destructive.


What Does the DAPA Rescission Mean and What Implications Does It Have for DACA?

What Does the DAPA Rescission Mean and What Implications Does It Have for DACA?

By Ignacia Rodriguez, NILC immigration policy advocate
June 23, 2017

On June 15, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly signed a memo rescinding the Obama administration’s November 2014 memorandum that announced a deferred action program for parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA),  as well as expansions of  DACA. The DACA expansion would have covered more people who came to the  U.S. as children and provided all DACA recipients protection from deportation and work permits for three years instead of the current two.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a press release and a set of frequently asked questions, along with the memo.

So what does the rescission of the DAPA memo mean for DAPA and the expansion of DACA?

  • DAPA, a program never implemented due to a court order, will never be implemented unless a new memorandum re-announcing the program is issued and that’s impractical to expect from this administration.
  • The rescission of the memo also ends the expansions of DACA, which would have greatly improved the lives of those previously excluded from the 2012 DACA program due to the age requirement and/or the continuous presence in the U.S. since 2007 requirement.
  • DHS emphasized that people who have secured three-year work permits (obtained between November 2014 and February 2015) don’t have to return their work permits and can thus wait to renew their DACA and work permits until closer to the expirations dates. Some have interpreted that to mean that DACA will still be available until at least February 2018 because if you received your three-year work permit in February 2015 it expires in February 2018. However, as we’ve learned over the last six months, nothing is certain with this administration, and things could change at any time.
  • In terminating DAPA, the Trump administration intends to end the Texas v. U.S. However, they have asked for an extension until June 29 to file their status report. It is to be determined if the court will grant an extension or what would happen after that, but the case continues until the judge orders otherwise.

What does the rescission of the DAPA memo mean for the 2012 DACA program?

  • By the morning of June 16, rumors were circulating in the media that the memo and accompanying materials signaled that DACA was safe indefinitely. However, these were only rumors. The memo and related materials only state that the decision does NOT affect DACA and that people can continue to apply and renew their DACA. There was no affirmative promise by the administration to keep DACA indefinitely. The White House quickly clarified that the president has not made a final determination about whether to continue or discontinue DACA in the future. TheNew York Times subsequently republished its original article on the topic, clarifying that the DACA program is still under review.
  • June 15 also marked the fifthanniversary of the DACA announcement. Some people wondered why DHS chose June 15 to make a decision on DAPA. Was it to remind us of the vulnerability of DACA? Was it to minimize our celebration of this victory? Or was it just that they had a court deadline of June 15 and inadvertently made the decision on the same day as the DACA anniversary? Given the court deadline, we can’t read too much into why they chose this date to make a decision.

We will continue to monitor and report on developments going forward, especially because it’s not at all clear what the future holds for DACA. Even with the 2012 DACA memorandum in place, we’ve seen the Trump administration targeting DACA recipients, such as Daniel Ramirez, Juan Manuel Montes, Dany Vargas, and others, and the hateful rhetoric spewed by government officials has emboldened some immigration agents to arbitrarily target immigrant communities, including peoplewith DACA.

We also will be keeping an eye on the processing of DACA applications. The high number of DACA approvals since January (over 107,000 renewal approvals and 17,000 initial approvals), were surprising, and some assumed they all happened under the Trump administration.  However, these numbers don’t really signal how the current administration will treat DACA cases going forward, given that those statistics captured a period that overlapped with President Obama’s last few weeks in office. The high number could have resulted from DACA renewal applicants applying early out of concern that Trump would end DACA immediately upon entering office, or it could be part of the cyclical nature of DACA renewals. It also may have been a combination of both. We’ll have a better sense of the Trump administration’s processing of DACA applications when the next set of USCIS data (covering April through June) is released.

In the meantime, please refer back regularly to our Frequently Asked Questions page for the most up to date information and recommendations for applicants and DACA recipients.


Latest Trump Immigration Attack Will Make Bad Problems Worse, Advocates Say

June 23, 2017

Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Latest Trump Immigration Attack Will Make Bad Problems Worse, Advocates Say

WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday said he will seek legislation to further limit immigrants’ access to federally-funded healthcare, nutrition, housing, and anti-poverty initiatives. Since the specific proposal he made — a 5-year ban for immigrants — has been law for twenty years, it’s likely that his remarks signal an attack on access for U.S. citizen children of immigrants or other broad attacks on working families that go far beyond the safety net.  Those comments are consistent with a draft executive order leaked to media months ago but has not been signed.

Anti-hunger advocates, anti-poverty groups, faith leaders, advocates for immigrants, and advocates for diversity reacted Friday, issuing the following statement:

“This latest attack on America’s immigrant heritage makes serious problems worse. Just for starters, a renewed attack on immigrant families will drive up child poverty, deny kids and families health care, increase hunger and homelessness, and keep kids out of school.

The good news is that President Trump can’t just do whatever he wants. America needs leaders in Congress to pump the brakes. They must all demand answers. How would this policy work? How many U.S. citizens will lose healthcare if it’s adopted? How many will become homeless? How many kids will be kept out of school?

We stand with lawmakers who have the courage to stand with hardworking families and against the latest Trump Administration attack on America’s immigrant heritage.”

Signatories to the statement include:

  1. Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  2. Asian Health Services
  3. California Immigrant Policy Center
  4. CASA (Maryland)
  5. Center for Law and Social Policy
  6. Children’s Alliance (Washington)
  7. Community Catalyst
  8. First Focus
  9. Food Research & Action Center
  10. Legal Council for Health Justice (Illinois)
  11. Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
  12. Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  13. National Education Association
  14. National Health Law Program
  15. National Immigration Law Center
  16. National WIC Association
  17. NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
  18. New York Immigration Coalition
  19. Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law
  20. The Legal Aid Society
  21. The Progressive Vietnamese American Organization
  22. Western Center on Law and Poverty

# # #


Muslim Ban 2.0: What Happens Next?

Muslim Ban 2.0: What Happens Next?

The Supreme Court’s action of
June 26, 2017, is explained HERE.
By Esther Sung, NILC staff attorney
June 9, 2017

Wondering what happens next in our Muslim ban case, IRAP v. Trump? Here’s everything you need to know, from the recent decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, to the Trump administration’s appeal of that decision, and what the Supreme Court could do next.

This is a case brought by HIAS and the International Refugee Assistance Project, who are represented by NILC, the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, and the ACLU of Maryland.

What happened at the Fourth Circuit?

The Fourth Circuit is the first federal appeals court to hear and issue a decision on a lawsuit brought against President Trump’s second Muslim-ban executive order, the one he signed on March 6, 2017. The Fourth Circuit heard arguments in IRAP v. Trump in an initial en banc hearing. This means that instead of a panel of just three judges hearing and deciding the case immediately after it was appealed from the federal district court in Maryland, all the judges in the Fourth Circuit, minus two who recused themselves, heard the case.

Of the thirteen judges who heard the case, ten voted to affirm the district court’s preliminary injunction, and three dissented from the majority opinion.

The ten judges who voted to affirm found that the March 6 executive order violates the U.S. Constitution—and that it “speaks with vague words of national security, but in context drips with religious intolerance, animus, and discrimination.” Three judges, in concurring opinions, provided several reasons why the executive order also violates the Immigration and Nationality Act.

The judges who dissented, on the other hand, argued that the court should show deference to the national security justifications the administration made for having issued the executive order.

Now what is the Trump administration asking the Supreme Court to do?

Late on the night of June 1, 2017, the administration filed papers asking the Supreme Court to “stay” the injunction issued by the federal court in Maryland and another injunction that was issued by a federal court in Hawaii—in other words, to lift both injunctions and allow the Muslim-ban executive order to go into full effect. The Maryland court’s injunction currently prevents section 2(c) of the executive order—the section that creates the Muslim ban (also known as the “travel ban”)—from taking effect.

The Hawaii court’s injunction is broader and currently prevents sections 2 and 6—which include the executive order’s refugee ban and reduction in refugee admissions for FY 2017 from 110,000 to 50,000—from taking effect. The administration’s request regarding the Hawaii injunction is unusual because the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which has jurisdiction over the Hawaii district, has not yet issued an opinion on its validity.

In a separate filing, the administration also asked the Supreme Court to grant a writ of certiorari in the Maryland case, which would enable the Court to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision upholding the injunction of section 2(c) of the executive order. Section 2(c) bans for 90 days the entry into the U.S. of nationals of six designated countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to allow expedited briefing on both these requests because it wants the Court to decide them before it takes its summer recess at the end of June.

What happens next at the Supreme Court?

The Supreme Court has already allowed for expedited briefing on the administration’s requests and has ordered the plaintiffs/appellees to respond to the administration’s filings by 3 p.m. ET, Monday, June 12.

To grant the administration’s request for a stay of the Maryland and Hawaii injunctions and allow the executive order to go into full effect, five justices would need to vote in favor of a stay. The justices can issue their decision on the administration’s stay application at any time after the plaintiffs/appellees file their response on June 12.

To grant the administration’s request for a writ of certiorari, only four justices would need to vote in favor of granting certiorari. The justices will likely decide the request during one of several remaining previously scheduled conferences in June and issue a decision after that, likely at the same time it releases opinions in other cases on the Court’s docket.

No Muslim ban ever!

The Fourth Circuit, like several other courts across the country, found that the executive order unconstitutionally disfavors Muslims and is clearly motivated by unconstitutional discriminatory intent. The majority opinion and concurrences were a victory for the American public and our democracy, and a reminder that no one—not even the president—is above the Constitution. NILC stands ready to continue the fight against the president and his politics of hate in the highest court in the land.