Category Archives: News Releases

Senate Sharply Rebukes Trump’s Ploy to Use Dreamers as a Pawn

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Senate Sharply Rebukes Trump’s Ploy to Use Dreamers as a Pawn

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate today did not cast enough votes to approve any proposal to solve the crisis created by President Trump’s decision to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Of the four amendments put up for a vote, one that mirrored President Trump’s proposal received the least support, with only 39 votes. The bipartisan USA Act, sponsored by Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Christopher Coons (D-DE), garnered majority support but fell shy of the 60 votes needed to move forward.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“Despite the good-faith efforts of many on both sides of the aisle, we still don’t have a fix for Dreamers — and that’s on President Trump. Trump dragged us into this crisis when he ended DACA. And he has consistently been the barrier standing in the way of a solution.

“Congress has put forward numerous bipartisan proposals, including some that were voted on today. This was Trump’s opportunity to get the deal he’s been saying he wants.

“Instead of working toward a compromise, he and his band of anti-immigrant extremists tacked on to a proposal that lawmakers from both parties resoundingly rebuked. His veto threat today killed any chance at a bipartisan solution before senators even voted. This and his equivocating and destructive actions over the past months confirm that he’s never been serious about resolving this crisis of his own making. It’s clear that to Trump, Dreamers are just a pawn to enact his white supremacist agenda.

“Republican and Democratic members of Congress alike need to stand up and reject these political games. Dreamers urgently need you to act. The onus is still on you to enact a narrowly tailored, bipartisan solution. It’s not only what Americans want, it’s the right thing to do.

“For now, the courts have stepped in — as they’ve done time and again in ruling against the Trump administration over the past year — to protect our communities and provide some relief from this administration’s unlawful actions, even if only temporarily. But make no mistake, DACA recipients continue to lose protections every day and will start doing so at an accelerated rate come March 5. The need for a permanent solution hasn’t changed.

“This is a difficult moment, but we are strong and resolute in our mission. We will continue to fight alongside immigrant youth and our allies — in the courts, in Washington, and with communities across the country — to secure a real solution for immigrant youth.”

###

Share

Rounds-King Immigration Proposal Would Harm More Than Help Our Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Rounds-King Immigration Proposal Would Harm More Than Help Our Communities

WASHINGTON — During an ongoing immigration debate, senators in Washington will consider an amendment that would provide a fix for Dreamers, but in exchange punish their parents, undermine due process in immigration courts, provide exorbitant funding to further militarize the U.S.-Mexico border, and create a damaging precedent that would pave the way toward criminalizing immigrant communities and families.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“President Trump created a crisis when he ended DACA, and he has perpetuated it at every turn with his equivocating and destructive actions and comments — even as recently as this morning. As we’ve said all along, we need Congress to enact a narrowly tailored solution to secure the future of immigrant youth, without putting families at risk or bending to whims of anti-immigrant extremists. This proposal, while a good faith effort on the parts of many to come to a compromise that works, unfortunately falls short.

“The legalization provisions in this proposal are a true testament to relentless organizing, advocacy, and power built up by immigrant youth and allies over years. That they are a result of a bipartisan negotiation is truly remarkable and a reason to be hopeful that we can find a permanent solution for Dreamers.

“However, on balance, this proposal is outside the bounds of what is acceptable. It would inject billions of dollars into a nonsensical border wall and increase the number of border agents without much-needed responsibility or oversight for agents emboldened since Trump’s election. Moreover, it doesn’t begin to address the real needs of border communities. It would fundamentally alter key parts of our immigration system, harm immigrant families for generations, and leave us with a damaging precedent to fight against for years to come.

“After 16 years of advocating for a solution for immigrant youth, we will not give up now. We continue to believe in the urgency of a legislative solution, which is why we support the carefully crafted bipartisan USA Act introduced by Senators Coons and McCain. We will continue to fight on every front to ensure that immigrant youth have a secure future in this country.”

###

Share

Fourth Circuit Decision Affirms What We Know: The Muslim Ban Is Immoral and Unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2018

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, media@nilc.org, 202-805-0375

Fourth Circuit Decision Affirms What We Know: The Muslim Ban Is Immoral and Unconstitutional

RICHMOND, VA — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision today affirming that one of the latest iterations of President Trump’s Muslim ban, which indefinitely bans people from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States, is unconstitutional.

The civil rights lawsuit in which the decision was issued was filed by the National Immigration Law Center, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and the ACLU on behalf organizations that provide services to refugees, American Muslim community organizations, and affected individuals. This case was consolidated with other civil rights challenges against the Muslim ban.

Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“While this administration has enacted several versions of the ban, what has stayed the same is that the courts, once again, have said what we know to be true — that a Muslim ban in any form is unconstitutional and stands in stark contrast to the values we hold dear as a nation.

“We will not sit idly by as this administration continues its racist and hateful attacks on immigrant and refugee communities. We know that as a result of this ban, families are being torn apart every day. We continue to stand proudly with our plaintiffs, refugees, and American Muslim communities to fight inside and outside the courtroom until there is no Muslim ban ever.”

###

Share

New York Dreamers Obtain Ruling Halting DACA Termination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 13, 2018

CONTACT
• Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, gastelum@nilc.org, 213-375-3149
• Daniel Altschuler, Make the Road New York, daniel.altschuler@maketheroadny.org, 917-494-5922
• Susanna Evarts, Worker & Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, Yale Law School, susanna.evarts@ylsclinics.org, 207-653-9499

New York Dreamers Obtain Ruling Halting DACA Termination

NEW YORK — New York Dreamers secured a significant victory today against the Trump administration’s unlawful termination of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). A federal district court granted the plaintiffs’ motion for a nationwide preliminary injunction to stop the Trump administration from terminating the DACA policy. The ruling is the second to enjoin the rescission of DACA.

“Today’s ruling gives hope to me and Dreamers around the country,” said Eliana Fernandez, plaintiff and DACA beneficiary who is a member of Make the Road New York. “Unlike Trump and [Attorney General Jeff] Sessions, the court has shown that it understands our common humanity — that we’ve lived in this country and contributed to it for many years, that elected officials cannot hatefully attack us with impunity. Dreamers and our families are here to stay.”

“This administration is not above the law,” explained Laura Kokotailo, a law student intern in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School. “The court’s ruling recognizes the ‘staggering’ human costs of terminating DACA, and properly ruled that the government’s proffered reasons were internally inconsistent and simply unjustified.”

The injunction was obtained in Batalla-Vidal v. Nielsen, the first case brought to challenge the DACA termination. This injunction requires the Trump administration to accept and review DACA renewal applications after the court found the government failed to explain or justify changing that policy, which affects close to 700,000 individuals and indirectly affects countless more.

The plaintiffs and allies across the country continue to organize outside the courtroom for the passage of a clean Dream Act that would provide permanent protection.

“While this decision allows DACA recipients to apply for renewal of deferred action under DACA, we still need Congress to act,” said Karen Tumlin, legal director at the National Immigration Law Center. “Young people who have lived almost their entire lives in the United States, and who are contributing to their communities, schools, and employers, are an integral part of the fabric of our country. They need a permanent and narrow solution to the problem President Trump created by terminating DACA.”

The Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen case was brought by six New York Dreamers and Make the Road New York on behalf of its members, employees, clients, and itself. The plaintiffs are represented by Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC), the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), and Make the Road New York (MRNY).

Today’s order is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Batalla-Vidal-v-Nielsen-updated-pi-order-2018-02-13.pdf

###

Share

New Rules Would Separate Immigrant Families and Keep Them from Accessing Critical Services

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2018

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, media@nilc.org, 202-805-0375

Department of Homeland Security Plans New Rules That Would Separate Immigrant Families and Keep Them from Accessing Critical Services

WASHINGTON — Reuters today reported that the Trump administration is considering proposed rules that would further target immigrants seeking critical care and social services, making it even harder for them to attain permanent legal status.

This cruel shift in policy would not only form a barrier for families seeking to reunite with their loved ones, but would also keep them from seeking critical services, such as education, nutrition, and medical assistance. Under current law, lawfully present immigrants are already barred from accessing almost all federal benefits for the first five years they are in the country, and undocumented immigrants face this bar no matter how many years they reside in the US.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The changes the Trump administration is considering would radically reshape our legal immigration system and redefine who is ‘worthy’ of being an American, along with what we look like as a country. If enacted, the draft proposed rule would fundamentally alter our nation’s values toward our immigration system. No longer would we be the country that serves as a beacon for the world’s dreamers and strivers. Instead, America’s doors would be open only to the highest bidder.

“This rule could have the effect of forcing low-income immigrant families — including U.S. citizen children — to make impossible choices between having the resources they need to thrive and reuniting with loved ones. It’s clear that this is nothing more than a backdoor effort to severely limit family immigration, which is part of the White House legislative framework. Those who have entered the U.S. through close family ties are disproportionately people of color, and U.S. citizen children will be among the most harmed by this proposal.

“If we want our communities to thrive, all families must be able to receive the critical care and services they need. All of us — regardless of where we were born or how much money we have — should reject these extremist proposals that are morally reprehensible and fly in the face of our nation’s values and priorities.

“Our nation’s history — and, indeed, most of our own personal histories — are full of stories of immigrants who came here with nothing but the clothes on their backs and a dream of a better future in the United States. These immigrants were able to have the tools they needed to succeed. Today’s low-income immigrant families are tomorrow’s teachers, nurses, and even a future president.”

###

Share

Immigrant Youth and Allies Call on House Democrats to Lead Because “Our Lives and the Morals of This Country Are at Stake”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 8, 2018

CONTACT
National Immigration Law Center (NILC)

Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Indivisible Project
Contact: press@indivisible.org

United We Dream
Bruna Bouhid, bruna@unitedwedream.org, 202-850-0812
Sheridan Aguirre, sheridan@unitedwedream.org, 202-793-226

Immigrant Youth and Allies Call on House Democrats to Lead Because “Our Lives and the Morals of This Country Are at Stake”

WASHINGTON — After months of hearing from millions of Americans in support of a permanent solution for Dreamers, Congress today is considering a two-year budget deal that does not address the crisis created when President Trump ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September.

Lawmakers have repeatedly vowed to find a permanent solution to end the uncertainty and instability created by the Trump administration’s termination of DACA but have failed to exert the sustained political will to deliver. This squandered opportunity is not only another failure to deliver on their word, it’s a choice to be complicit in the detention and deportation of Dreamers. Any member of Congress who votes for a budget deal without securing protections for immigrant youth — Republicans and Democrats alike — will be voting to advance Trump’s white supremacist agenda. We will not forget.

For more than a year, President Trump and his administration have waged an attack on immigrants, refugees and communities of color. Immigrant youth and immigrant families, despite the excruciating uncertainty of these trying times, are leading a courageous fight to assert our communities’ humanity, dignity, and power, and our rightful claim to be acknowledged for our contributions and feel secure at home. We need leaders in Congress to act with courage, too.

Speeches, photo ops, and gestures won’t cut it. We urgently need a narrowly-tailored solution that addresses the crisis Trump created, without putting families at risk or reducing people’s lives to a bargaining chip. We need the bipartisan Dream Act now.

###

Share

Senate Deal Leaves Dreamers Out in the Cold

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Senate Deal Leaves Dreamers Out in the Cold

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senate leadership today announced a deal to fund the federal government until late next month, increase military and domestic spending for two years, fund community health centers for two years, extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years, and provide some disaster relief. The deal does not provide a solution for immigrant youth.

President Trump created a crisis in September when he terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, their families, and communities. Nearly 19,000 immigrant youth have since lost DACA protections. Elected officials have repeatedly vowed to create a legislative solution to allow Dreamers to continue to contribute to their communities, but have thus far failed to do so.

The Senate will vote on the proposal shortly, and it will next go to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“It is outrageous and inexcusable that Senate leadership has callously agreed to put immigrant youth aside. Lawmakers who say they support Dreamers but then vote for this deal are showing their true colors and should feel nothing but shame. Words and photo ops mean nothing if they’re not paired with action.

“Hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth, their families, and communities are living in a state of uncertainty and instability. We urgently need Congress to pass a permanent solution without ceding to the White House’s extremist demands. Legislators’ failure to pass the bipartisan Dream Act — which an overwhelming majority of Americans support — will be complicit in the harm to immigrant youth.”

###

Share

USA Act Represents Commonsense Approach Toward Immigration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

USA Act Represents Commonsense Approach Toward Immigration

WASHINGTON — Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and John McCain (R-AZ) have announced they will introduce narrowly framed legislation intended to allow immigrant youth to apply for lawful status while addressing various border security measures. The main tenants of the legislation, which is modeled after the USA Act introduced by Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-TX), enjoys broad bipartisan support, especially in swing districts.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“In the midst of the Trump-created crisis on DACA that has resulted in so much uncertainty for our nation’s immigrant youth and the country, this is a welcome bipartisan bill that is aimed at resolving the problem at hand rather than fanning the anti-immigrant flames.

“Immigrant youth put their trust in the government when they applied for DACA. This trust is being tested. President Trump revoked their economic and societal lifeline when he callously ended DACA, and time is running out for Congress to provide a solution to prevent these young people from losing their permission to live and work here. Our nation needs a narrowly-tailored fix to the crisis at hand, and the USA Act provides this fix. Now is not a time for political grandstanding; it’s a time to recognize that most of the country wants to see Congress solve this problem now.

“This bill is not without its problems. Our nation’s border communities already suffer from over-militarization, and any legislation that adds more boots on the ground without understanding the real needs of those communities is simply a waste of taxpayer dollars. Still, at a time when pursuing an extremist agenda is too often mistaken for legislating, it is refreshing to see a piece of carefully crafted bipartisan legislation.”

###

Share

Trump’s Dystopian Vision for the Future Is Based on Fear, Not Facts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2018

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, media@nilc.org, 213-375-3149

Trump’s Dystopian Vision for the Future Is Based on Fear, Not Facts

WASHINGTON — In his first State of the Union address, President Trump laid out a blueprint for the future of the country. A cornerstone of this vision includes policies designed to turn back the clock on our nation’s immigration system by curbing legal immigration by as much as 50 percent. This proposal comes after several weeks of the White House’s failure to achieve a legislative fix to allow DACA recipients to continue to live and work in the United States.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“President Trump did his best to distract from the plain and simple fact that his administration failed to address the needs of the many working Americans who voted for him. The president, who pledged to keep jobs in the United States and increase wages for those struggling to make ends meet, instead delivered a tax cut to the billionaire class. One constant, however, has been his dogged commitment to attempt to divide our communities by scapegoating immigrants.

“The American people weren’t fooled by Trump’s discriminatory Muslim ban or by his xenophobic attempt to exploit the DACA crisis to enact a white nationalist wish list. We certainly won’t be fooled by any attempt to pit workers, whether immigrant or native born, against each other.

“A president should be capable of moving beyond Twitter attacks and dog whistle politics to focus instead on issues that will help all our communities. Sadly, President Trump seemed unable to accomplish this feat tonight.”

###

Share

NILC Responds to White House Immigration Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

NILC Responds to White House Immigration Proposal

WASHINGTON — The White House today released a framework for a legislative deal that includes a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers, along with a dramatic increase in border enforcement and radical changes to parts of the U.S. immigration system.

Diana Pliego, policy associate at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This White House proposal demonstrates once again that the Trump administration is not serious about finding a solution for immigrant youth. President Trump created this crisis last September when he rescinded the DACA program and told Congress to fix it. Instead of working to find a solution, he is sabotaging the process by turning a bipartisan compromise on its head and morphing it into a white nationalist wish list.

“This is just another ploy to hold protections for immigrant youth hostage to enact his white supremacist agenda. The solution for immigrant youth should be focused narrowly on resolving the crisis Trump created. It should not be a vehicle to harm immigrant families and communities.”

###

Share
111