Category Archives: January 2013

President’s Speech on Immigration Reform

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832 or [email protected]

Momentum Builds for a New Immigration Process

National Immigration Law Center statement in response to President Obama’s January 29 speech in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NV — President Barack Obama today outlined his vision for a new immigration process. A central tenet of the president’s plan includes a process to allow the 11 million aspiring Americans living in the United States to apply to become U.S. citizens. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“President Obama promised voters that he would work with legislators in Washington to create an immigration process for our country’s aspiring citizens, and today he showed that he will deliver on that promise. The president spoke passionately about his commitment to a clear road to citizenship for the 11 million women and men who are Americans at heart if not on paper. He reminded the country of our own immigrant roots, and that immigration cannot be a matter of ‘us’ versus ‘them.’ In fact, he said, most of us, at some point, were ‘them.’

“This moment is long overdue, but warmly welcomed. As the president said, this is not about policy, but about people. The National Immigration Law Center is committed to continuing to the remind the president of all the people who are suffering under current detention and deportation policies.

“This week’s activities show that Washington is serious about finally creating an immigration system that meets our economic and societal needs. It’s now up to us — as immigrants, community members, and citizens — to ensure that the legislation coming from Washington creates a wide road to truly inclusive citizenship, without burdensome roadblocks or unnecessary exclusions.”

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Immigration Reform Framework

January 28, 2012

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832 or [email protected]

Citizenship: A Matter of When, Not If

Devil Is in Details for Bipartisan Immigration Reform Principles

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has released principles for creating a modern immigration system. Notably, the senators outlined the need for a “tough but fair” process to allow the 11 million aspiring citizens currently living without immigration status to apply for U.S. citizenship. The principles outline the four pillars the senators deem essential to any broad immigration reform measure. The pillars are the result of intense negotiations following the presidential election and represent the most serious bipartisan attempt to reform the immigration system since 2007. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“In an era when bipartisan agreement about the most pressing national priorities is practically nonexistent, it is heartening that both sides of the aisle agree that we must create a process for aspiring Americans to apply for citizenship.

“This first, serious attempt at reforming an immigration process that has long failed to meet our economic and societal needs is welcomed by those of us who have witnessed the devastation to our communities caused by policies that only ramped up detention and deportation practices and failed to recognize those living here without lawful status for what they are: Americans at heart, if not on paper.

“We fully recognize that, as with all issues as complex as immigration, the devil is in the details. We are pleased to see that aspiring citizens would have access to temporary status almost immediately, so they’d be able to fulfill their promises to their families and our country. However, a broad road to citizenship for the eleven million immigrants applying for lawful status shouldn’t be made impassible by excessive roadblocks. The road to citizenship should not be contingent upon more militarization of the border and increased detention and deportation initiatives, which a recent report shows already receives more money than all other federal criminal law enforcement initiatives combined. The border security benchmarks, as outlined in 2007, have been more than met. Goalpost shifting on border security leads us to question whether a road to citizenship will ever actually materialize.

“The principles are silent as to whether aspiring citizens will have access to affordable health care, which, along with social insurance, we all need if we are to create a healthy, robust workforce and community. Finally, our laws should recognize that, while families may look different, all are bound by love, and this bond should be treated equally in the eyes of the law.

“These bipartisan principles provide an initial framework to build an immigration system worthy of our great nation. We look forward to working with these lawmakers and the White House to improve and strengthen these principles and resolve an issue whose political time has come.”

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Secretary of Labor Resigning

January 9, 2013

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-674-2832

Solis Departure Leaves Large Shoes to Fill in Obama Administration Cabinet

WASHINGTON — The White House announced today that Hilda L. Solis is resigning from her position as secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor after having served four years. Prior to becoming secretary of labor, Solis was a congresswoman representing the 32nd Congressional District of California. She also served in the California Assembly and Senate. Throughout her career, Solis has been an advocate for the rights of immigrants and their families. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Secretary Hilda Solis has dedicated her career to ensuring that all Americans, regardless of where they were born, are treated with dignity and fairness. As a Latina from Los Angeles, she has served not only as a fierce advocate for her community but also as a role model for immigrant and Latino children across the country. The Obama Administration has large shoes to fill at the Department of Labor. We expect nothing less than a person with Secretary Solis’s commitment to all workers, regardless of income, gender, or nationality, to serve as our next secretary of labor.”


Obama Administration Rule Puts Families First

January 2, 2012

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832, [email protected]

New Obama Administration Rule Keeps Families Together

WASHINGTON — Immigrants will be eligible to apply for permanent residency through a U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child without the fear of prolonged separation from their families, according to a new rule announced today by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The rule, which is scheduled to take effect on March 4, 2013, allows green card–eligible individuals to apply for a provisional waiver while inside the U.S. If found eligible for the waiver, they would then return to their country of birth for final processing without the fear of long periods of separation and the possibility of being barred from returning to the U.S. for up to 10 years, as is currently the case. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“For too long, thousands of immigrants with U.S. citizen family members haven’t applied for permanent residency out of fear of being separated from their families. This new rule puts families first and allows immigrants to apply for permanent residency without having to spend months or years away from their loved ones.

“However, this rule is far from perfect: The new rule currently applies only to family members of U.S. citizens, unnecessarily excluding immigrants whose family members are lawful permanent residents who have made America their home. The hardship these families suffer is no less painful than that of families with citizen family members. This exclusion is unnecessary and should be removed.

“Families applying for this waiver should note that the rule will not go into effect until March 4. It is important for applicants to be very careful about not falling prey to fraud by ‘notarios’ or others who claim that this rule change is immediately available.

“Ultimately, this process should serve as a reminder that our families, communities, and economy desperately need Congress to create an immigration process that allows the 11 million aspiring Americans to apply for citizenship. We urge leaders on both sides of the aisle to address this issue, which Washington has overlooked for far too long.”

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