Category Archives: News Releases

Congresswoman Jayapal, SEIU President, and National Leaders Ramp Up Pressure to End Title 42

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected],
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Bilal Askaryar, Welcome With Dignity, [email protected]

Congresswoman Jayapal, SEIU President, and National Leaders Ramp Up Pressure to End Title 42

Friday’s injunction makes restoring asylum more urgent than ever

Listen to a recording of the call here

WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus joined leaders of SEIU, NILC, and Human Rights First to mark the day that should have been the end of the anti-refugee, anti-Black, and anti-LGBTQ policy known as Title 42. A recent court injunction has barred the end of the policy, and Congress is still expected to vote on amendments to a COVID relief bill that would go even further by effectively ending asylum indefinitely. Joined by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, national leaders called for the decisive end of this cruel Trump-era policy and reiterate the need for a fair and humane asylum system that centers the dignity of all people.

“Title 42 is a racist, xenophobic relic of the Trump Administration’s anti-immigrant agenda. Friday’s decision by a federal judge to keep the policy in place was wrong, driven by politics and not facts. I applaud the DOJ for already signaling it will move to appeal this ruling,” said Congresswoman Jayapal. “As Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I’m proud to stand side by side with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in opposing any amendments and any legislation that would reinstate Title 42. It is past time to stop using immigrants as political footballs and do what we must – pass humane immigration reform.”

“The Trump administration weaponized Title 42 to block people from exercising their fundamental right to seek asylum,” said Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC). “This cruel policy never had a basis in public health, and the Biden administration made the correct, if overdue, decision to end it. We urge the administration to vigorously defend ending Title 42 expulsions against those who would wish to cement this horrific Trump policy into law. Independent of what the courts decide, Congress must reject any legislation that would indefinitely block access to the legal right to seek asylum in the United States.”

“Judge Summerhays’ decision to keep Title 42 in place and continue to turn away people seeking refuge at our border is an affront to our core values as Americans and to our history as a beacon for the oppressed,” said Mary Kay Henry, International President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU). In light of this terrible decision, my message today could not be simpler, nor could it be more urgent: Working people demand a government that works for all expect Congress and the President to stand with immigrants and refugees and use every power at their disposal to support humane policies at the border and a path to citizenship.”

“The use of Title 42 not only leads to more repeat border crossings and inflated border-crossing statistics, it allows the United States to evade its own immigration and refugee laws. The Biden administration’s decision to end Title 42 was a crucial step in returning the United States to an asylum system that meets American law and its treaty obligations. It is encouraging that the Justice Department quickly filed an appeal to the Louisiana court’s ruling, which extends the use of a policy, ostensibly based on public health, that public health experts have concluded is not needed. Now it is critical that the administration take all necessary steps to defend the CDC’s decision to end the use of Title 42,” said Michael Breen, President and CEO of Human Rights First.

A recording of the call is available here.

The Welcome with Dignity Campaign is composed of more than 100 national and regional organizations committed to transforming the way the United States receives and protects people forced to flee their homes to ensure they are treated humanely and fairly. To learn more and join our campaign visit: welcomewithdignity.org

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NILC Statement on Court Order Extending Title 42

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected],
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on Court Order Extending Title 42

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to a Louisiana federal judge’s preliminary injunction blocking the Biden administration from ending Title 42 expulsions on May 23:

“This politically-driven decision by a Trump-appointed judge will continue to deny people their legal and fundamental right to seek asylum in the United States. The Biden administration made the right call to finally put an end to Title 42 expulsions, and we urge the administration to vigorously defend its decision in court.

“Regardless of what the courts decide, Congress must reject the Lankford-Sinema bill, or any other piece of legislation that would indefinitely block access to the legal right to asylum in the United States. As a country, we are at our best when we welcome people seeking safety, and we must rebuild a fair, equitable asylum system that recognizes the dignity inherent in us all.”

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NILC Statement on the Supreme Court Majority Draft Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 3, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected],
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on the Supreme Court Majority Draft Opinion Overturning Roe v. Wade

WASHINGTON — Victoria Ballesteros, chief communications officer at the National Immigration Law Center and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement in response to the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft majority opinion overturning the decisions in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

“This horrifying draft decision forecasts the culmination of a long-running political scheme to install a conservative majority and weaponize the Supreme Court to roll back and restrict essential reproductive and other rights. A decision overturning the right to an abortion will have life-altering consequences, especially for low-income communities and people of color, including many immigrants. The Supreme Court’s assault on fundamental rights will not stop with access to abortion; we are in the middle of a fight for the basic human rights of everybody who calls this country home.

“The National Immigration Law Center stands in solidarity with leaders in the fight to ensure equitable and safe access to life-saving health care, which includes access to abortion and other reproductive health care services. We will continue to fight for our fundamental rights to be protected under the law.

“In 2020, a historic multigenerational coalition of voters gave Democrats a governing trifecta to address the challenges facing our nation. Now, we urge Democrats to wield that power and take swift action to ensure that a person’s access to reproductive health care is never called into question again.”

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Federal Court Rules that Government Actions Under Remain in Mexico are Subject to Orantes Injunction

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 28, 2022

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149
Katie Hoeppner, [email protected]
ACLU SoCal Communications & Media Advocacy, 626-755-4129, [email protected]

Federal Court Rules that Government Actions Under Remain in Mexico are Subject to Orantes Injunction

LOS ANGELES — A federal district court on Wednesday ordered the U.S. government to turn over information sought by advocates on whether the Trump-era Remain in Mexico policy’s application violated longstanding court-ordered protections for certain migrants.

“This court victory will help shed light on the full extent of the harm caused by this cruel and unlawful Trump-era policy and is a crucial step toward vindicating the rights of Salvadoran class members unlawfully denied a fair shot at asylum,” said Lisa Graybill, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center. “We will continue fighting to restore full and fair access to asylum for all people seeking safety and freedom from persecution in our country.”

Plaintiffs in Orantes-Hernandez v. Meese, a class-action lawsuit first filed in the 1980s that protects the rights of Salvadorans detained by immigration officials, returned to court after notifying the Biden administration in November that it could face further legal action concerning Remain in Mexico, officially known as the Migrant Protection Protocols, which the administration reinstated in response to an order from another federal court in Texas.

On Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled that plaintiffs raised significant questions regarding the federal government’s compliance with a permanent injunction in the Orantes case and ordered the government to produce more information to determine whether Remain in Mexico violated the injunction’s terms.

“This win is an important first step toward uncovering the government’s continued interference with the rights of Salvadorans fleeing persecution to seek asylum in this country,” said Morgan Russell, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project.

“The court rightly recognized that the constitutional protections enshrined in the Orantes injunction are as vital today as they were in the 1980s,” said Eva Bitrán, staff attorney at the ACLU Foundation of Southern California. “This is an important step toward restoring Salvadorans’ right to apply for asylum.”

The National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of Southern California, and Public Counsel represent plaintiffs in the case.

Members of the legal team include: Lisa Graybill, Max Wolson, Jess Hanson, Michelle Lapointe, and Bianca Alcala-Ruiz of the National Immigration Law Center; Morgan Russell of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project; Eva Bitrán of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California, and Mark Rosenbaum of Public Counsel.

The court ruling is available here.

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NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Updated Plan to End Title 42

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2022

CONTACT
Madison Allman, [email protected], 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Updated Plan to End Title 42

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s release today of an updated plan to end Title 42 expulsions:

“The new DHS memo articulates a clear plan for ending Title 42 and bolstering our preparedness to welcome people seeking safety with dignity and humanity. While the memo includes some deeply concerning provisions, the administration’s efforts to clarify and inspire confidence about its plans, which have been in the works for over seven months, are encouraging. We urge the administration to continue to exert its leadership, provide support and infrastructure to organizations welcoming people at the border, and stand by its rightful decision to finally end this shameful and unlawful policy. The administration must also forcefully oppose any congressional efforts to tie its hands in rescinding Title 42.”

“Title 42 represents the worst of an administration that, under President Trump, systematically decimated our ability to welcome asylum seekers and refugees. In a time with rising levels of migration across the globe due to war, climate disasters, and gender-based violence, it is more important than ever that the U.S. builds an equitable 21st century immigration system that meets this moment in history.”

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37 Civil Rights Leaders Urge President Biden to Defend Legal Right to Seek Asylum in the U.S., Oppose Any Congressional Effort to Delay Rescission of Title 42 Expulsions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2022

CONTACT
Madison Allman, National Immigration Law Center, [email protected], 202-384-1279
Eleanor Donohue, Human Rights First, [email protected]
Tara Tidwell Cullen, National Immigrant Justice Center, [email protected]

37 Civil Rights Leaders Urge President Biden to Defend Legal Right to Seek Asylum in the U.S., Oppose Any Congressional Effort to Delay Rescission of Title 42 Expulsions

WASHINGTON — Amid congressional efforts to bar people from exercising their legal and human right to seek asylum in the United States, leaders of over 30 immigrant, civil, humanitarian, human, and labor rights organizations sent a letter to President Biden imploring the administration to clearly defend its plans to restore asylum access, and to forcefully oppose efforts to extend use of a racist, Trump-era policy to ban people from seeking asylum.

“The Trump Administration invented the Title 42 expulsions policy as the capstone measure toward their vision of destroying the United States asylum program permanently. This Administration’s continuation of that program normalizes racist, anti-asylum policies,” the leaders wrote. “It is imperative that at this critical moment the administration loudly and clearly defend its plans to restore access to asylum and forcefully oppose the ‘Public Health and Border Security Act’ introduced by Senators Lankford and Sinema and any other legislative efforts to delay rescission or maintain the use of Title 42 expulsions.”

The leaders also expressed that their organizations stand ready to provide legal and humanitarian services in support of the refugees in need of asylum in the United States. They have requested an urgent meeting with the President and relevant staff to discuss the termination of Title 42, readiness to manage any increases in migrants at the border, and how we can rebuild our asylum system in a humane and equitable fashion.

A PDF of the letter can be downloaded here, and the full text of it is below.

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Dear President Biden:

As leaders of immigrant, civil rights, humanitarian, and human rights, and labor organizations, our missions include the goal of safeguarding asylum access in the United States. It pains us to watch the core of asylum rights in the United States crumble, and we write to urge the Biden administration to urgently reverse course.

The Trump Administration invented the Title 42 expulsions policy as the capstone measure toward their vision of destroying the United States asylum program permanently. This Administration’s continuation of that program normalizes racist, anti-asylum policies. It is imperative that at this critical moment the administration loudly and clearly defend its plans to restore access to asylum and forcefully oppose the “Public Health and Border Security Act” introduced by Senators Lankford and Sinema and any other legislative efforts to delay rescission or maintain the use of Title 42 expulsions.

Four decades ago, Congress unanimously committed to welcome those seeking refuge. The previous administration did its best to unravel that commitment; we implore you to ensure that this Administration and Congress do not finish the job for them.

We stand ready to provide legal and humanitarian services and advocacy to and in support of the refugees in need of asylum in the United States, and we look forward to working with you to ensure they are able to access safety. We formally request an urgent meeting with you and relevant staff to discuss the termination of Title 42, readiness to manage any increases in migrants at the border, and how we can rebuild our asylum system in a humane and equitable fashion.

Sincerely,

Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas
Anthony Romero, Executive Director, American Civil Liberties Union
Joyce Ajlouny, General Secretary, American Friends Service Committee
Allen Orr, President, Benjamin Johnson, Executive Director, American Immigration Lawyers Association
Paul O’Brien, Executive Director, Amnesty International USA
Swapna Reddy and Conchita Cruz, Co-Executive Directors, Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project
Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director, Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Rabbi Joshua Lesser, President, Bridges Faith Initiative
Karen Musalo, Director, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies
Dr. Simon Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer, Center for Victims of Torture
Rick Santos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Church World Service
Angelica Salas, Executive Director, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
Silky Shah, Executive Director, Detention Watch Network
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director, Disciples Refugee and Immigration Ministries
Guerline Jozef, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Haitian Bridge Alliance
Mark Hetfield, President and Chief Executive Officer, HIAS
Michael Breen, President and Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights First
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director, Human Rights Watch
Daniella Burgi-Palomino, Co-Director, Latin America Working Group (LAWG)
Traci Feit Love, President & Executive Director, Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG)
Wade Henderson, Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, MomsRising
Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center
Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center
Sirine Shebaya, Executive Director, National Immigration Project (NIPNLG)
Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director, National Justice for Our Neighbors
Abby Maxman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Oxfam America
Jennifer Sime, Interim Executive Director, Physicians for Human Rights
John Slocum, Executive Director, Refugee Council USA
Mary Kay Henry, International President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
Margaret Huang, President and Chief Executive Officer, Southern Poverty Law Center
Patrice Lawrence, Executive Director, UndocuBlack Network
Greisa Martinez Rosas, Executive Director, United We Dream
Lindsay Goldford Gray, Chief Executive Officer, VECINA
Thomas Cartwright, Witness at the Border
Sarah Costa, Executive Director, Women’s Refugee Commission
Gladis Molina Alt, Executive Director, Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights

NILC Statement on the Designation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 15, 2022

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

NILC Statement on the Designation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement on the Biden administration’s announcement of the designation of Cameroon for Temporary Protected Status (TPS):

“The designation of Cameroon for TPS is a significant victory which will bring much-needed emotional and economic stability for Cameroonians, and would not have been achieved without the sustained advocacy of Black immigrant leaders. We commend the Biden administration for making these overdue, life-saving protections available for Cameroonians in our country.

“The U.S. still has work to do to address pervasive anti-Black discrimination in our immigration policies, and Black immigrants from countries like Ethiopia and Mauritania have waited far too long for the same protections. We must welcome people seeking safety regardless of where they were born or the color of their skin so that they can thrive and fulfill their full potential in the country they call home.”

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NILC Celebrates the Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Celebrates the Confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement after the Senate confirmed Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson as the 116th Associate Justice to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court on a 53-47 vote:

“We celebrate this historic day as Judge Jackson becomes the first Black woman to be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Throughout her distinguished career, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to public service, to the advancement of equal justice under law, and to treating all people with dignity and humanity.

“We celebrate Judge Jackson’s confirmation, which marks a historic breakthrough for the advancement of racial and gender equity, and is a momentous victory for all who strive to build a more just world.

“On the bench, Justice Jackson will have an important role in the shaping the lives of all people in our country, including millions of immigrants. Her brilliance, experience, and record of fairness and integrity will be a welcome addition to our nation’s highest court. Today’s vote will also have transformational impact on the lives of little Black and Brown girls who will be able to see themselves as a future judge, Senator, or President.”

For an analysis of Judge Jackson’s prior decisions on immigration, view NILC’s report here.

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NILC Statement on the End of Title 42 Expulsions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 1, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on the End of Title 42 Expulsions

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it will end the Title 42 expulsion policy on May 23.

A NILC Immigrant Justice Fund poll from February found 52 percent of likely voters support ending the policy.

“President Biden made the morally and legally right – and politically popular – decision to end Title 42, a cruel and harmful vestige of the Trump era. We commend the Biden administration for moving to repeal this deadly and xenophobic policy. It is a significant step forward, even if it is long overdue.

“The administration must also continue on the path toward restoring full and fair access to asylum for everyone who comes to the U.S. seeking freedom and safety, including at ports of entry. FEMA’s involvement is a welcome sign that the administration understands it needs to take a humanitarian approach. President Biden was elected with a commitment to undoing the harms of the previous administration, and we will continue urging the administration to focus its efforts on building a just and humane 21st century immigration system that recognizes the dignity inherent in us all.”

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NILC Statement on the Biden Administration Terminating Title 42 Expulsions for Unaccompanied Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2022

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Madison Allman, 202-384-1279
Emily Morris, 213-457-7458

NILC Statement on the Biden Administration Terminating Title 42 Expulsions for Unaccompanied Children

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement after the Biden administration announced that it will end Title 42 expulsions of unaccompanied children at the border in response to a court ruling:

“While we welcome the Biden administration’s decision to terminate Title 42 expulsions of unaccompanied children, for the millions of voters who rejected the previous administration’s xenophobic policies, it is past due. The administration must now end this cruel Trump-era policy for everyone. For nearly two years, under the guise of public health, this policy has denied people their fundamental right to seek asylum and returned them to dangerous conditions where they face kidnapping, torture, and persecution.

“The truth is undeniable: there never was a public health justification for this racist and xenophobic policy created by Trump and continued by the Biden administration. All people seeking safety and freedom in the United States, whether they are from Ukraine, Haiti, El Salvador, or elsewhere, deserve due process and full access to asylum, including at ports of entry.

“We urge the Biden administration to swiftly bring an end to Title 42 and close this shameful chapter. At a time when we are experiencing record levels of migration across the globe as a result of war, climate disasters, gender-based violence and other push factors, the United States should be leading the way to building a just and humane 21st century immigration system that meets this moment in history.”

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