Category Archives: February 2015

Collins Bill in Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 27, 2015

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

Collins Bill Would Destroy Family Unity

Senators should oppose budget-busting proposal to undo immigration action

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate failed to invoke cloture today on a bill that, if enacted, would defund the immigration actions taken by President Obama last November to protect immigrants with deep ties to the United States from deportation. Although the bill was advertised as a “compromise” to allow the Senate to approve a measure to fund the Department of Homeland Security, the bill actually contains many provisions that would harm immigrant families across the country. Although this proposal will not proceed today, the measure could be considered again in the future. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Rather than simply do their job and keep the government’s doors open, the new Senate leadership has inserted political games into the process. The Collins bill in effect proposes the mass deportation of 11 million aspiring Americans, including immigrant youth and parents of U.S. citizen children who have deep ties to this country. This proposal fails to recognize that a deportation-only strategy isn’t sound policy, it’s just an opportunity to pander to anti-immigrant extremists.

“Those who supported this measure should ask themselves this: Whom would you deport? Would they support prioritizing deportation of hardworking parents, leaving children without their mothers and fathers? Would they support deporting people like Jong Min, a young man who has lived in this country since he was a 1-year-old and will one day soon be able to apply for expanded DACA?

“The Collins bill is just another example of mean-spirited, anti-immigrant politics that has, sadly, become the norm in this legislative session. The GOP had promised to usher in an era of good governance and inclusive politics. They have not lived up to their own professed expectations.”

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DOJ to File Stay in Texas v. U.S. Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 20, 2015

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

U.S. Dept. of Justice Takes a Strong Stand for Immigrant Families

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Justice today announced it would file a stay to lift the injunction that temporarily blocks the implementation of two important immigration initiatives announced by President Obama in November, 2014. This is the latest legal step in Texas et al. v. United States of America, et al., the 26-state challenge to initiatives that, once implemented, will allow millions of immigrants who meet certain requirements to come forward and apply for relief from deportation and temporary work authorization. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, an organization that filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case:

“Today, the Department of Justice took a strong stand to stop unnecessary delays in the implementation of these important immigration initiatives, which were blocked in a decision that was so clearly outside the legal mainstream, we are confident it will be overturned.

“Immigrant families are ready for the opportunity to contribute more fully to the country they call home. Localities and states have lauded the initiatives as sound public policy that will boost their economies. Law enforcement leaders have explained that these initiatives will improve public safety for all communities.

“The Department of Justice is standing on the right side of the law and on the right side of history. We – as immigrants and as Americans – have waited for nearly a quarter century for these much-needed improvements to our broken immigration system. We should not allow a flawed legal decision to delay these changes any longer.”

 

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Texas v. U.S.: Federal District Court’s Decision

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 16, 2015

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

NILC: Texas Decision Falls Far Outside Legal Mainstream

BROWNSVILLE, TEXAS — A federal district court today blocked the implementation of the immigration initiatives announced by President Obama last year, which would allow millions of immigrants to come forward and apply for deportation relief and work authorization.

The first phase of initiatives, which affect undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, is scheduled to be implemented beginning February 18. Applications for the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative is scheduled to go into effect in May. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Today’s decision brought the court far outside the legal mainstream and away from public opinion, which supports the step President Obama took toward finally beginning to fix our dysfunctional immigration system.

“Questions about the legality of President Obama’s actions on immigration have already beenaddressed in other courts, and state claims like the ones upheld today have already been rejected. Today’s decision overlooked sound legal reasoning and precedent, and, if not reversed, threatens to keep millions of aspiring Americans from coming forward to apply for much-needed reprieves from deportation and work authorization.

“Fortunately, this decision represents only a temporary setback. We urge the Department of Justice to act swiftly to ask the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse this court’s decision to block the immigration initiatives. Failure to do so will confuse potentially eligible immigrants and undermine the success of these initiatives.

“Opponents’ declarations of victory today are premature. We are confident that the courts will ultimately side with the scores of legal experts, state leaders, city officials, and law enforcement leaders who say that these immigration initiatives are both in full compliance with law and deeply beneficial to our communities, society, and country. In the meantime, we will only strengthen our resolve to prepare for the moment when immigrant families can come forward and apply for the opportunity to contribute more fully to the country they have made their home.

“This decision will undoubtedly raise concerns for immigrant communities anxiously awaiting the day they can come out of the shadows. They should continue preparing for implementation by gathering documents that serve as proof of their eligibility, saving money for application expenses, and staying informed. It won’t be long before eligible immigrants will be able to live without the fear of deportation while working lawfully and contributing to their families and communities. That will be a good day for our country.”

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Hundreds of Thousands May Lose Health Coverage

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2015

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

Obama Administration Ready to Boot Hundreds of Thousands from Health Coverage, Again

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) today announced that up to 200,000 individuals would be stripped of their Affordable Care Act health plans on March 1 due to inconsistencies in their citizenship or immigration status information. This news comes months after the National Immigration Law Center and others filed administrative complaints and a Freedom of Information Act request to learn more about how individuals have been notified of inconsistencies, and whether these individuals were unfairly terminated due to language barriers. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Hundreds of thousands of people stepped up and paid their premiums in an effort to comply with the individual mandate to have health insurance required by the Affordable Care Act. These people will now be unceremoniously booted from coverage, and there are dozens of unanswered questions as to why.

“It was a Sisyphean effort for the people who will now be losing their coverage on Feb. 28 to obtain it in the first place. These individuals dealt with numerous website glitches and complied with demands for additional documentation, often multiple times, simply to purchase the care they needed. They believe in the promise of the Affordable Care Act: that everyone is healthier if we all get covered. It is both frustrating and deeply saddening that administrative problems are preventing these people from keeping the coverage they worked so hard to obtain.

“Rather than terminate individual coverage, the Obama administration should work to ensure that no one eligible for coverage is dropped from his or her health plan. Furthermore, health care officials should send proper notices in the language that the recipient will actually understand.. Technical glitches and bureaucratic snafus should not result in hundreds of thousands of families losing vital health coverage.”

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Same Anti-Immigrant Politics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2015

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

New Session, New Leadership, Same Anti-Immigrant Politics

Senate and House hearings recycle “self-deportation” messaging and tactics and little else

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs held its first immigration hearing of the 114th legislative session, using the time to denounce President Obama’s recent immigration initiatives designed to fix parts of the broken immigration system.

Across the Capitol, the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Border Security and Immigration held a hearing to discuss the merits of E-Verify, an electronic employment eligibility verification system, and the Legal Workforce Act, which would force all employers to use E-Verify. This proposal, like others scheduled for House hearings next week, were introduced in previous legislative sessions.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund.

“Today’s Senate hearing demonstrates that although we have a new legislative session, the Republican leadership’s immigration proposals are tired old repeats of the same anti-immigrant attacks we’ve all heard for several years. Each idea presented today was long on cheap political points and woefully short on substance. Senators in these hearings may have banked great sound bites designed to fire up the anti-immigrant crowd, but they won’t win the Republican Party the diverse set of supporters it will so desperately need for 2016.

“The House of Representatives, similarly, is committed to putting forward ‘solutions’ that would harm our economy and do nothing to fix our dysfunctional immigration system. By proposing the Legal Workforce Act, a measure that the Congressional Budget Office has projected would cost more than $30 billion, the House has shown that its commitment to attacking immigrants extends far beyond its interest in protecting our economic recovery, promoting job growth, or reducing governmental red tape.

“Instead of attacking hardworking immigrant families and small businesses, House and Senate leadership should be working to use President Obama’s first step toward fixing our long-broken immigration system to create a lasting, comprehensive solution. Unfortunately, today’s hearings lead us to believe that this legislative session will hold little promise of policy substance, and a guarantee of creative political theater, for the next two years.”

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