Category Archives: December 2016

NILC Applauds Termination of NSEERS, George W. Bush–era Registration System

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2016

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc.org

NILC Responds to Obama Administration Announcement on NSEERS

LOS ANGELES — Responding to a groundswell of advocacy by civil rights groups, the Obama administration is ending the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), a George W. Bush–era program that forced people in the U.S. from 24 Muslim-majority countries and North Korea to register with and be tracked by the federal government. The program inflicted harm on tens of thousands of families in communities across the country. An estimated 83,000 people were registered under NSEERS, and about 13,000 were placed in deportation proceedings. Yet, the program failed to lead to a single conviction on terrorism charges.

President Obama deactivated NSEERS in 2011 but did not do away with it completely until now. Advocates urged Obama to rescind the regulations for the program out of concern that it would be reactivated by the incoming administration to fulfill President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign promise to create a Muslim registry.

Avideh Moussavian, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement:

“NSEERS, like any profiling program, is a shameful stain on our country’s civil and human rights record. We are all well-served by its dismantling.

“Looking ahead, we cannot ignore the lessons of this unjust and failed program, which caused great harm to so many in our communities. We must reject all attempts to institutionalize discrimination, including those born out of fear and ignorance.”

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Bill to Protect People with DACA Underscores DACA’s Importance

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 9, 2016

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org

Bill to Protect People with DACA Underscores DACA’s Importance

WASHINGTON — Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) have introduced legislation aimed at allowing people who are eligible or have applied for temporary relief from deportation and for work authorization through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to continue to live in the United States without fear of deportation.

This bipartisan legislation would not provide these young immigrants with a path to citizenship or permanent lawful status. Rather, it would create a mechanism to make it possible for certain young people to live free from fear that they would be targeted for deportation under the Trump administration.

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

“This bipartisan legislation provides a welcome reminder that allowing young Americans-in-waiting to contribute more fully to our communities is not a partisan issue. And for good reason: DACA works. Under this program, young immigrants have started new businesses, completed their educational goals, and become even more interconnected to the communities they have grown up in—and all of us, immigrant and native born alike, have benefitted.

“That’s precisely why the Trump administration should not rescind DACA. Our economy and society have improved thanks to the contributions young immigrants have made.”

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NILC Responds to Appointment of Gen. John Kelly to Head Homeland Security

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Dec. 7, 2016

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc.org

NILC Responds to Appointment of Gen. John Kelly to Head Homeland Security

LOS ANGELES — News outlets have reported that President-elect Donald Trump will appoint retired Marine General John Kelly as secretary of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS). The head of DHS oversees several agencies charged with adjudicating many immigration processes, as well as border and immigration enforcement, among others. Kelly’s appointment has not been formally announced and is pending Senate confirmation.

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

“Gen. John Kelly, if confirmed, will be in a critical position to determine how President-elect Trump’s priorities on immigration are converted into policy and practice. We urge Kelly to keep America’s values of inclusion and respect for human dignity at the forefront of his direction of our nation’s immigration programs. And we hope that he will stand up to others who have Trump’s ear who would rather have it another way.

“However, Kelly’s experience with immigration issues is thin. And with the potential appointments of others who have shown a blatant disregard for our values in their pursuit of inhumane immigration policies, it remains to be seen what approach he will take. One individual reportedly being considered to serve as Kelly’s deputy, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, was a key author of a series of racially motivated, largely unconstitutional state laws—such as Arizona’s SB 1070—that aimed to make life miserable for immigrants and have mostly been struck down by federal courts.

“We hope Kelly will reject extremist voices that would try to inject that same line of failed thinking into our national politics, and instead side with those who seek sensible and humane solutions. Similarly, we hope he will reject those who would treat our borders like a war zone, and instead recognize that the border region is home to millions of people and businesses that need our national leaders to value its commercial and cultural importance. This is done by building bridges, not walls.”

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Xavier Becerra, Longtime Champion of Californians’ Rights, to Serve as State’s First Latino Attorney General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 5, 2016

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc.org

Xavier Becerra, Longtime Champion of Californians’ Rights, to Serve as State’s First Latino Attorney General

LOS ANGELES — Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Rep. Xavier Becerra to serve as California’s next attorney general. Brown nominated Becerra, who currently represents California’s 34th congressional district, to fill the position left vacant by Kamala Harris, who recently was elected to the U.S. Senate. The nomination is subject to confirmation by the state legislature. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Rep. Becerra has long been a champion of the rights of all Californians. As he worked in Congress to improve access to affordable health care and better economic safety nets, he fought to ensure that immigrants’ needs were not ignored. More importantly, Becerra stood up for California’s right to enact policies that are best for our state. When California applied for a state innovation waiver to allow all state residents to purchase health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace at full cost, he voiced his support.

“More than ever, we need state and local leaders to fight against a federal government agenda that is anti-worker, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, and anti-Black. Californians know that our diversity is our strength, and we have enacted policies to reflect those values. We look forward to working with Becerra to defend the rights of all our residents, regardless of where we were born, how much money we have, or how we identify.”

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