Category Archives: December 2018

Trump’s Border Wall Tantrum Will Hurt Americans Across the Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2018

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

Trump’s Border Wall Tantrum Will Hurt Americans Across the Country

WASHINGTON — Both chambers of Congress failed to come to an agreement to keep the government running, forcing a partial shutdown impacting several agencies and hundreds of thousands of workers. Although both chambers have vowed to work toward a solution, nothing has been announced to avert official closures across the country.

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

“The American people have made clear that they see right through and reject President Trump’s extortionist attempts to make taxpayers foot the bill for his useless and immoral border wall. We commend members of Congress who rightfully refused to give into Trump’s coercive tactics and urge them to continue to reject Trump’s reckless insistence on building a wall  as this process moves forward.

“Trump will get the government shutdown he has repeatedly said he wanted, and it will come at great expense to hundreds of thousands of public servants—and their families—who may spend their holidays not knowing when to expect their next paycheck or may be forced to work without pay. Trump and those who indulged his tantrum are responsible for the hardship these families will face over the holidays, as well as for the added uncertainty being forced on the rest of the country with this tantrum.

“The government has a responsibility to keep its doors open and to do what’s in the best interest of the people it serves. It’s time for Trump to do his job and let Congress do theirs.”

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Senate Must Reject Last-Ditch Effort to Coerce Money for Trump’s Border Wall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2018

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

Senate Must Reject Last-Ditch Effort to Coerce Money for Trump’s Border Wall

WASHINGTON — Bending to Trump’s capricious demands, the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives today passed a funding package that includes more than $5 billion for a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border. With just one day remaining before Friday’s deadline to avert a partial federal government shutdown, the bill now moves back to the U.S. Senate.

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

“One of the basic functions of government is to keep its doors open. Sadly, the Trump administration and its enablers in Congress continue to hold the process hostage to extreme, costly, morally repugnant border militarization efforts.

“Communities across the country want their representatives to focus on investigating the corrupt and abusive practices of ICE and CBP, and to reject any proposal that would give funding for a border wall or militarization, or for more beds or agents. We should not be rewarding an agency that rips children from their parents, cages families and routinely terrorizes our communities at the border and in our backyards.

“The Senate must reject these last-ditch efforts to coerce more taxpayer money for Trump’s useless and immoral border wall.”

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A Dangerous Trumper Tantrum: NILC Responds to Latest Trump Asylum Changes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 20, 2018

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

A Dangerous Trumper Tantrum

NILC responds to latest Trump asylum changes

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security today announced a policy change that will force people seeking asylum at the southwest border to wait in Mexico while their cases are adjudicated.

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

“This latest attack in Trump’s war on the asylum process is a shameful abdication of our nation’s moral and legal obligation to provide an orderly process for people to seek safety in the U.S. The announcement this morning — in the midst of budget negotiations in which Trump has tried desperately to coerce money for his unpopular, wasteful wall — makes clear that this is just another Trumper tantrum, with serious long-term consequences.

“The American people want solutions that treat people with dignity and compassion, not dangerous policies that create more barriers for people in vulnerable situations and complicate an already fraught process. We must put an end to the culture of cruelty at the border.”

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Following Death of 7-Year-Old, a Call to End Culture of Cruelty at the Border

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 14, 2018

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

Following Death of 7-Year-Old, a Call to End Culture of Cruelty at the Border

LOS ANGELES — Below is a statement by Nora Preciado, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, following the tragic death of a 7-year-old girl in U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody. Preciado is co-counsel in Doe v. Nielsen, a class-action lawsuit filed by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, the ACLU of Arizona, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Morrison & Foerster LLP, challenging deplorable conditions in Border Patrol holding facilities in the Tucson Sector.

“The death of 7-year-old Jakelin Amei Rosmery Caal Maquin is a tragic reminder of a longstanding pattern of systemic cruelty and secrecy at CBP and its parent agency, DHS, and underscores the stark need for greater transparency and accountability at these agencies. As we mourn and demand justice for Jakelin and her loved ones, we must also take meaningful steps to prevent anything like this from happening again.

“Direct accounts over years from people in CBP custody and hard evidence obtained through litigation reveal a culture of utter disregard for human life at the agency. This toxic environment has resulted in civil and human rights violations, physical and psychological harm, and numerous preventable deaths.

“In June 2015, we sued CBP to demand humane conditions for those jailed in Border Patrol holding facilities known as hieleras. We demanded medical screenings, adequate food and water, and other basic necessities. The lawsuit continues, but we shouldn’t have to sue our government to force it to abide by our laws and treat people with dignity.

“Sadly, the culture of cruelty at CBP has only worsened under the Trump administration. By DHS’s own account, Jakelin and dozens of people apprehended by CBP at the same time were kept for hours in a ‘covered area’ before being transported to a Border Patrol station and before she received medical care. Overnight temperatures in the region can fall to below freezing this time of year.

“Our tax dollars have paid for this culture of abuse for far too long. We demand that Congress investigate the atrocities being committed under President Trump’s watch.”

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Massive Popular Rejection of Trump Anti-Family Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2018

CONTACT
National Immigration Law Center: [email protected]nilc.org; Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, or Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279
Center for Law and Social Policy: Tom Salyers, 202-607-1074, [email protected]

Massive Popular Rejection of Trump Anti-Family Regulation

Proposal equating worth with wealth draws 210,000+ comments

WASHINGTON — A Trump administration regulatory proposal to effectively restrict immigration access based on income drew more than 210,000 comments during a 60-day public comment period that closed Monday. The comments, which came from people from all sectors of society, criticized this 477-page regulation as an affront to family dignity and ultimately unworkable. The National Immigration Law Center and the Center for Law and Social Policy led a nationwide campaign to educate the public about the threat and encourage people to submit comments.

“Mayors from across the country, members of Congress, faith leaders, advocates for women and communities of color, teachers, pediatricians, small business owners, veteran families, and Americans from all walks of life spoke out during the last 60 days,” said Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy. “And though there were diverse voices speaking out, the message to the Trump administration was consistent and clear: this is the wrong policy for children, families, communities, and the country as a whole.”

“Last month’s midterms demonstrated a groundswell of support for political candidates who rejected Trump’s hateful attacks on low-income families and immigrant families,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “Now those voters have raised their voices again to push back on Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-family agenda and take back their power.”

Widely reported by the press, the proposed “public charge”  regulation, if enacted, would put people at risk of immigration denials if they use Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Section 8 housing, Medicare’s prescription drug assistance program, or other programs. Specifically, the regulation puts applications for admission to the United States and applications for permanent residence (a “green card”) in jeopardy. The proposal would also make it far harder for working immigrants to be approved for residency if they do not have high incomes or wealth, by counting a range of demographic factors against applicants. These include being a child, being older than 61, demonstrating limited English language skills, and having a disability.

The rules governing public charge in the U.S. have not yet changed. But experts warn that the threat of the proposal would worsen hunger, unmet health needs, and other problems by making immigrant families — including families with children — afraid to get the help they need. Comments opposing the regulation validate those concerns.

“I am applying for [a] Green Card. I already dis-enrolled my child from CHIP out of fear since the draft policy floated around early this year. I pray every day nothing bad happens to my child,” wrote one anonymous commenter.

Advocates for economic opportunity and immigrant families charge that the proposal puts wealthy immigrants ahead of families and expands a policy that has historically been used to discriminate against certain racial, ethnic, and social classes. Commenters also underscore those concerns.

“At times throughout my family’s history, we’ve needed help from public programs to get by, just like millions of other families. And with some help from programs like unemployment, food assistance, and tax credits, we kept our jobs, got ahead, and paid that assistance back many times over in taxes and in job creation. I vehemently oppose the White House’s new proposal that would deny this generation of immigrant families the same opportunities that my family benefitted from,” wrote Jeff Sheldon.

“This undeniably xenophobic policy, disguised as an economic decision, closed off one of the few escape routes for European Jews facing deportation to concentration camps, and contributed to the Nazi genocide of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust,” wrote Samuel Chu, National Organizer for MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger.

While the public comment period is closed, the regulation is not final. In some cases, federal agencies decide not to finalize a rule given widespread opposition. If the U.S. Department of Homeland Security does elect to advance the proposal, it must review comments first and respond to substantive concerns — a process advocates expect to take months or years. Immigration officials will not be allowed to consider an applicant’s use of public programs prior to 60 days after the date that the final regulation is published in the Federal Register. The attorneys general of Massachusetts, California, and other states have already indicated that they are considering litigation if the regulation is finalized.

“This radical proposal goes far beyond the agency’s legal authority, and it may well be struck down. We urge the millions of families affected by this proposal to consult a lawyer to determine the best course of action for you and your family,” said Golden.

“Immigrant families have been the target of relentless, multifaceted attacks by this administration,” added Marielena Hincapié. “What we have shown is that our communities — and our allies — are resilient. We will keep fighting, using every legal and policy tool at our disposal to stop this hateful rule.”

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JOINT STATEMENT: Trump Threatens to Hold Government Hostage to Get His Wall

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 11, 2018

CONTACT
– National Immigration Law Center:
[email protected]; Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149; Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279
– Indivisible Project: Emily Phelps, [email protected]
– United We Dream: Bruna Bouhid, [email protected], 202-850-0812
– Southern Border Communities Coalition: Yesenia Padilla, [email protected], 415-269-3178

JOINT STATEMENT
Trump Threatens to Hold Government Hostage to Get His Wall

WASHINGTON — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Indivisible Project, the Southern Border Communities Coalition, and United We Dream released the following statement:

For two years, President Trump has demanded funding for his deadly, harmful, and wasteful border wall while continuing to attack immigrants, refugees, and communities of color. Today, he proudly declared “I will shut down the government” if he doesn’t get his way. Immigrants’ rights groups and allies have made it clear that we reject this administration’s racist policies and oppose any amount of funding that would build Trump’s vanity wall or increase the number of detention beds and immigration agents.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi should reject any and all funding for Trump’s border wall or for additional immigration enforcement.

This past year, Congress approved $1.3 billion in wall funding that has already devastated border communities. We aim to bring this number down in the next Congress. The current Department of Homeland Security budget already represents reckless overspending on agencies that routinely engage in abusive and corrupt practices that terrorize our communities. Congress must include specific guidelines that require an analysis of the harmful effects of a wall to border communities, the environment, and wildlife prior to authorizing any more construction.

When Trump is separating children from parents and tear-gassing families seeking asylum at the border, Democrats cannot give him another dime to wage his war against immigrant families.

Trump made the 2018 midterm elections into a referendum on his immigration policies, and voters overwhelmingly rejected them. Voters want a different type of government that respects all of us, regardless of where we were born.

Our organizations support a clean, year-long continuing resolution that doesn’t fund Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda which includes his vanity wall, detention beds, or agents. We urge Congress to stand up against this false and ineffective style of leadership and consider funding the greater needs of the nation, such as health care for all, addressing the climate crisis, better K-12 education, and modernizing our crumbling infrastructure.

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