Category Archives: January 2014

GOP Immigration Reform Principles

January 30, 2014

Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, [email protected]

Starting the Conversation . . . in the Wrong Place

National Immigration Law Center Reacts to GOP Immigration Principles

WASHINGTON — The House GOP leadership released a single-page document outlining their principles for overhauling the nation’s immigration system, which has not been updated since 1986. The principles include a plan to allow those who came to the country as children to earn U.S. citizenship, but they leave many of the nation’s 11 million aspiring citizens without a dedicated road to this status. The principles also call for increased border militarization and payment of back taxes by those looking to adjust their immigration status. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“Republican leadership has taken a step forward, and we’re pleased that they have finally decided to join the effort to revamp our nation’s immigration laws. Unfortunately, too many of the proposals outlined today remind us only of ghosts of anti-immigrant bills past: mandatory E-Verify without workplace protections, uncertain roads to permanent status in this country, and other blocks that could make the road to legalization — let alone citizenship — unaffordable and unattainable.

“John Boehner and others have finally acknowledged that doing nothing on immigration will hurt them far more in the future than it will help them now. We are ready and willing to work with elected officials — on both sides of the aisle — who would like to create an immigration system worthy of this great country. The GOP has begun the conversation. We hope it grows into a dialogue about how to do what their constituents elected them to do: Enact legislation that upholds our values and meets our needs.”

# # #


Sen. Jeff Sessions & Workers

January 27, 2014

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

NILC: Sen. Sessions Stands Against U.S. Workers

Alabama senator’s new “concern” for working people used to attack aspiring citizens

WASHINGTON — In a commentary published by USA Today, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-AL, again pits U.S. workers against aspiring citizens, falsely contending that American workers would be hurt by commonsense immigration reform.

Not only has Sessions’s old and tired argument been soundly rejected in recent economic studies showing the nation and his home statewould benefit from immigration reform that includes a road to earned citizenship, his statement is hypocritical, given his long record of opposing legislation and programs designed to help hardworking Americans.

National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié issued the following statement regarding the senator’s latest attack against immigrants:

“Our nation’s economy is growing stronger because of the contributions of all U.S. workers, and they deserve our respect. Unfortunately, Senator Sessions is again driving a political wedge between immigrants and their native-born coworkers. It is undeniable that the false choice Sessions posits is due first and foremost to his ardent opposition to modernizing our federal immigration laws. His actions — particularly on legislation that would pull all workers out of poverty — speak louder than his most recent words.

“Let’s review the Sessions record regarding the very same workers he claims to be concerned about. The senator opposes increasing the federal minimum wage of $7.25 even though the middle class is shrinking and the growing number of workers in low-paying jobs is struggling to make ends meet.

“Senator Sessions has mocked supporters of food stamps, neglecting the fact that 61 percent of homes in his state have children on a federal food program.

“Senator Sessions also has opposed extending the unemployment insurance program for more than one million people, which expired at the end of last year. In another example of class warfare, he pits the benefits of the unemployed and veterans against the families of five million children — mostly Latino and U.S. citizens — by proposing restrictions to the Child Tax Credit, a proven and effective anti-poverty program.

“Spanish-speakers commonly remind us to ‘tell me who you associate with, and I’ll tell you who you are.’ Sen. Sessions has shown that he associates with those who would plunge all families — regardless of where they were born — into poverty. His newfound concern for workers is simply another attempt to advance a longstanding anti-immigrant and anti-worker agenda.”

# # #



January 16, 2014

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

New Legislation Could Make Dreams a Reality

Bill Encouraging In-State Tuition for All Residents Is Win-Win for States

WASHINGTON — Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) today introduced the Investing in Students to Achieve Tuition Equity (IN-STATE) for DREAMers Act, a bill designed to encourage states to expand in-state tuition rates to all their residents. The bill would establish a program that would provide grants to states that offer in-state tuition or financial aid to immigrant students, regardless of their immigration status. Sen. Maize Hirono (D-HI) and Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) also are cosigners of this legislation.

“The National Immigration Law Center praises Senators Murray and Hirono and Representatives Polis and Castro for recognizing that improving access to education is a powerful way to ensure our nation’s future economic success,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

“The popularity of in-state tuition laws — both ruby-red Texas and deep-blue California offer not only tuition equity, but also financial aid for immigrant students, regardless of immigration status — should serve as a reminder to legislators in Washington that this proposal isn’t just sound education and economic policy, it’s also one whose antecedents are bipartisan. We will continue working toward a day when all students — regardless of where they were born or their financial situation — will be able to achieve their educational dreams.”

Hincapié added, “Congress can and should continue to advance proposals to build a broad, direct road to citizenship for all those living and laboring in the United States. Until then, we need commonsense policies such as the one this bill would create to ensure that all our communities and economies can continue to grow stronger together.”

The National Immigration Law Center has long advocated for tuition equity, and it tracks state-level tuition policy proposals throughout the country. Learn more about state-level tuition policies

# # #


Daniel Kowalski joins NILC’s board

January 15, 2013

Nayeli Pelayo, [email protected], 213-674-2830

Prominent Immigration Law Attorney Joins National Immigration Law Center’s Board of Directors

LOS ANGELES — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) announces the recent appointment of seasoned immigration law attorney and national expert, Daniel M. Kowalski, to its board of directors.

“I am honored to be a part of NILC’s board at such a crucial point in the fight for immigrants’ rights,” says Kowalski. “Over the years, NILC has gained national respect not only for its deep understanding of the complexities of immigration law, but also as a fierce advocate for all immigrants, regardless of socioeconomic or immigration status. I’m proud to help lead them into the next phase of the fight to defend and advance the rights of low-income immigrants and their families.”

Kowalski is the editor-in-chief of Bender’s Immigration Bulletin, published by LexisNexis, and the online editor of the LexisNexisImmigration Law Community (ILC), Bender’s Immigration Bulletin – Daily Edition. He also is a member of IMMLAW, the National Consortium of Immigration Law Firms.

Among his various honors and awards, Mr. Kowalski has been named a senior fellow at the Institute for Justice Journalism. He is recipient of the Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Award from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in 1998 and recipient of the Pro Bono Award from the American Immigration Lawyers Association in 1993. Additionally, he has received the Special President’s Award from the Denver Bar Association in 1988. He also is listed as one of “The Best Lawyers in America” from 1997 to 2012.

A native of Denver, Colorado, Mr. Kowalski has been practicing immigration law exclusively since 1985. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and obtained his J.D. from St. Mary’s University.

“Immigration lawyers and advocates have come to rely on Dan for his in-depth immigration expertise, and recognize Bender’s Immigration Bulletin as the premier resource on immigration issues,” said, Marielena Hincapié, NILC’s executive director. “Dan’s stellar reputation, knowledge of complex immigration law, and dedication to immigrants make him a great addition to our board.”

Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center is the only advocacy organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. NILC advances its mission through policy analysis, litigation, education, and advocacy. Over the past three decades, NILC has won landmark legal decisions protecting fundamental rights, thwarted policies that would have devastated the lives of low-income immigrants and their family members, and advanced major policies that reinforce our nation’s values of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.

Click here for a high-resolution photo of Mr. Kowalski.

For more information about the National Immigration Law Center,

# # #


Unemployment Extension Proposal

January 8, 2014

Adela de la Torre, [email protected], 213-400-7822, or
Gebe Martinez, [email protected], 703-731-9505

NILC Protests Senate Conservatives’ Attacks on Poor Children

On 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, senators cynically pit unemployed and veterans against kids

WASHINGTON — In a cynical political ploy, conservative senators are pitting millions of children and their families against the unemployed and retired veterans by proposing to reduce the number of people eligible for the refundable Child Tax Credit (CTC) in order to pay for extending unemployment benefits and repealing military pension cuts that were part of the recent budget deal.

“This is a tragic irony—that the senators would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty by creating this false choice and waging war against millions of children in hardworking, taxpaying families,” said Don Lyster, director of the Washington, DC, office of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC).

“Congress should do everything it can to ensure that people who are out of work, our courageous veterans, and the children who are our future are afforded the opportunity to live with basic dignity. Pitting these groups against each other is not a solution but an unscrupulous exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society,” Lyster added.

The extension of unemployment insurance benefits has traditionally been considered an emergency item that does not require a budgetary offset. However, conservatives intent on waging war against the poor and immigrants are proposing changing eligibility requirements and removing benefits even from those who are compelled to pay income and payroll taxes.

NILC estimates, based on a report by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, that more than two million working families would be disqualified if these changes occur, compromising our economic recovery.

“This would be a horrible betrayal of the working poor, children, and the Latino community, which would be hardest hit,” Lyster said. “For our national good, this cynical political gamesmanship must stop.”

# # #