Category Archives: News Releases

Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act Targets Crucial Gaps in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2020

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act Targets Crucial Gaps in COVID-19 Relief Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC — Members of Congress today introduced legislation, the Coronavirus Immigrant Families Protection Act, that would address urgent needs in immigrant communities not addressed in previous relief packages enacted in response to the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The bill, sponsored by Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) in the U.S. Senate and Representatives Judy Chu (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), and Lou Correa (D-CA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, would suspend implementation of the Trump administration’s “public charge” policy; ensure that COVID-19–related services are available to uninsured individuals, regardless of their immigration status; extend economic support to millions of immigrant families excluded from relief in the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act; and prohibit enforcement agencies from carrying out immigration enforcement in locations, such as hospitals and health care centers, where people seek care.

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

“Immigrants are on the frontlines confronting this public health crisis as workers in the health care sector and as the indispensable people who harvest and prepare our food, deliver our groceries, and care for our loved ones. If we truly want to win this fight against a pandemic that doesn’t discriminate based on a person’s wealth, race, or place of birth, we need Congress to pass policies that ensure immigrants are part of the solution and also receive the health care and economic support everyone needs to get through this crisis.

“The bill  introduced today addresses crucial gaps left in the relief legislation enacted thus far and provides that we all will have access to crucial testing, health care, and economic lifelines. I commend these leaders and other members of Congress who are advancing a more inclusive and equitable vision for America that acknowledges the role of immigrants as protagonists in our recovery from this global catastrophe.”

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NILC Statement Regarding $2 Trillion COVID-19 Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 26, 2020

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Statement Regarding $2 Trillion COVID-19 Package

WASHINGTON — Late Wednesday evening, the U.S. Senate passed a $2 trillion deal to provide economic relief amidst the growing COVID-19 pandemic.

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

“Senate Democrats fought for key improvements from a prior version of the COVID-19 relief package introduced by Senate Republicans, who are operating with a ‘business as usual’ attitude in prioritizing corporations over people and continuing to demonize and exclude immigrants.

“Nevertheless, this bill still falls woefully short of meeting the most basic health care and economic needs of millions of Americans. Immigrant workers and families who are paying taxes have been cut out from receiving a single dollar. While it provides for crucial unemployment insurance benefits and funding for medical care, the bill shamefully excludes millions of immigrants and their families from coverage for COVID-19 testing and treatment or economic assistance, even as many are on the front lines working to confront the pandemic. It is both reckless from a public health perspective and disgraceful that our congressional leaders are refusing to extend the same relief to immigrant communities, many of whose members will play an essential role in our recovery as a nation.

“With Senate Republicans now planning to leave for a month-long recess, we call on House Democrats to demand that the final legislation include crucial relief for immigrants. Since no other relief package appears imminent, the stakes are high for millions of low-wage workers and immigrants, who also need economic support and access to health care. Any deal that leaves them out jeopardizes us all.”

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NILC Reacts to Coronavirus Phase 3 Legislation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 19, 2020

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

NILC Reacts to Coronavirus Phase 3 Legislation

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, March 19, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced emergency stimulus legislation to address the economic fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

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

“The coronavirus phase 3 legislation introduced in the Senate is not a product of bipartisan negotiations. This is another gift to corporations that leaves out millions of tax-paying immigrants, many of whom have family members who are U.S. citizens. Our nation is facing a pandemic that does not discriminate and threatens to wipe out people’s livelihoods and devastate our economy. It is unconscionable that the Republican-controlled Senate continues to play politics with the health and well-being of Americans. We are all at risk when millions are left behind.

“As we grapple with the far-reaching implications of this public health crisis, immigrants are on the front lines delivering groceries, harvesting produce for our meals, working in the health care sector, and caring for our loved ones. Economic stimulus that excludes immigrants who are working and paying taxes leaves us all vulnerable. We look to our leaders in Congress to address this inequality and ensure that any relief package provides help for all members of our community, including the most vulnerable among us.

“Among the most important lessons of this pandemic is that we are all interdependent. This is not a time for partisanship but a time for courageous leaders to unite across party lines for our collective well-being and to ensure that we are all safe, healthy, and have the economic means not only to survive but to thrive.”

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NILC Responds to Enactment of the Families First Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 18, 2020

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

NILC Responds to Enactment of the Families First Act

LOS ANGELES — As communities across the United States take unprecedented measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, President Trump signed a relief package into law today, the Families First Act, that aims to address some of the challenges facing the country in the midst of a global pandemic.

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

“In these difficult and uncertain times, our leaders must ensure that everyone — including low-income immigrants — has access to the resources necessary to mitigate the harmful impacts of this global pandemic. We live in interdependent communities, and it is becoming irrefutable that our personal well-being and futures are intertwined with those of our neighbors, coworkers, and students — many of whom are immigrants on the front lines of the response to this crisis, including as workers in the health care, home care, and food sectors, small business owners, delivery professionals, airport staff, grocery store employees, and others. Ours is the wealthiest nation on the planet; every one of us should have access to health care, nutrition, and economic support as we weather this hardship together.

“The Families First Act is an important first step toward helping millions of families in dire need of relief and will provide much needed paid leave that will be a critical short-term economic lifeline to immigrant workers earning low wages. While we work to address our communities’ immediate needs, much more remains to be done as we ask ourselves: As people risk losing their jobs, homes, businesses, and community spaces, and even as parts of our government close their doors, what new opportunities are we going to create to set ourselves up for a healthier, more inclusive future together?

“This moment requires true leadership and decisive action informed by the best advice of health and science experts and a concern for our collective well-being.  President Trump and his allies in Congress have consistently failed to meet this crisis head on, putting all our lives at risk. At a time when what we need most is clarity, consistency and calm, Trump has offered his usual mix of lies, distraction, and backtracking. He and his enablers have put political expediency over the health and well-being of our people. They have ignored the pleas of public health experts and doctors, and the experience of and lessons learned by countries that were hit by this global crisis before we were. And they have scapegoated immigrants and pointed fingers at other countries instead of taking responsibility.

“Simply put, Trump’s catastrophic failure to lead in this time of crisis will cost many their lives and livelihoods.

“This is a moment for all of us to do our part to take care of ourselves and our loved ones, contribute to building healthier and safer communities, and hold our elected officials accountable. We have clear choices before us that must be made if we are to emerge from this crisis with a healthier, safer, more inclusive society in which we can all thrive.”

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No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition Responds to House Decision to Delay Vote on NO BAN Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020

CONTACT
NILC: Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375
AAAJ – Asian Law Caucus: Sabrina Chin, [email protected], 415-351-9737

No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition Responds to House Decision to Delay Vote on NO BAN Act

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives removed from its calendar a scheduled vote on the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act. The legislation would immediately repeal prior versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, including the most recent expanded ban that most heavily impacts Africans, one that specifically targets refugees, and one that targets asylum-seekers arriving at the border. It would also change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit the power of this administration or any future president to enact similar bans.

The decision to delay the vote comes as Congress is shifting its attention to a plan to respond to the COVID-19 virus. In response, the coalition’s anchor organizations released the following statements:

Marielena Hincapie, executive director at the National Immigration Law Center, says:
“After three years of Trump’s Muslim ban, we know that any delay furthers the harm done to Muslim-American families and communities who have already suffered significantly. We remain steadfast in our commitment to seeing the bill through in its complete, unaltered form. We urge members of Congress who have championed the bill and House leadership to continue to publicly commit to this as well. The Trump administration has demonstrated a reckless and cruel abuse of power by issuing bans that target Muslims, Africans, refugees, and asylum-seekers for the sole purpose of shutting out communities of color, fulfilling Trump’s signature and racist campaign promises. When our representatives return from recess, it is crucial that they make this a priority and immediately schedule a vote to pass the NO BAN Act. The time to act is now.”

Zahra Billoo, executive director of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of the Council on  American-Islamic Relations, states:
“Though disappointing, the delay in voting on the NO BAN Act  will not undermine our work with our partners in Congress, the presidential campaigns, and grassroots communities to overcome Donald Trump’s bigoted immigration agenda. This has gone on far too long, separating families, slowing access to medical care, undercutting academic and professional opportunities, all while propagating xenophobia. We call on Congress to move quickly to reschedule this vote and pass the NO BAN Act. Our communities, their constituents, expect no less.”

Linda Sarsour, executive director of MPower Change, states:
“For years we’ve organized, shared our stories, and made sure our calls to repeal the ban were heard. From the moment the first Muslim ban was issued, to last month’s expansion, our Muslim and immigrant communities have continued to lead us all towards the passing of legislation that can repeal this racist ban once and for all. Despite today’s decision to delay the NO BAN Act vote, we will continue to build with House leadership to ensure it passes without any weakening amendments in the coming weeks, and we will continue to rally around those in our Muslim, immigrant, and African communities who face the burden of this horrific ban daily.”

Aarti Kohli, executive director representing Asian Americans Advancing Justice, states:
While we applaud the efforts of House members supporting the NO BAN Act, let us not forget that with each passing day, families continue to be separated unjustly from their loved ones, those needing urgent medical care continue to suffer, and those fleeing persecution continue to be denied refuge. Our communities have waited long enough. Any delay in the House vote further deepens the suffering of our Muslim and immigrant communities. Conflating a public health concern with a xenophobic immigration policy only mirrors the very racism and Islamophobia the Muslim ban was premised on. It is critical that House members pass the NO BAN Act to stop the assault on our Muslim and immigrant neighbors as soon as possible. Separated families depend on it.”

About No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition (NMBE)
The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign, endorsed by over 200 organizations, represents a diverse community of Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations and allies in progressive, faith, immigrant, asylum, refugee, and civil rights sectors who came together in response to the Trump administration’s persistent efforts to ban individuals from Muslim-majority countries as part of its larger xenophobic, white nationalist agenda of exclusion. Please visit www.NoMuslimBanEver.com for more information.

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NILC Statement on House of Representatives’ Delay of Vote on NO BAN Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 12, 2020

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 202-805-0375

NILC Statement on House of Representatives’ Delay of Vote on NO BAN Act

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives removed from its calendar a scheduled vote on the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (NO BAN) Act.

The legislation would immediately repeal prior versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, including the most recent expanded ban that most heavily impacts Africans, one that specifically targets refugees, and one that targets asylum-seekers arriving at the border. It would also change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion and limit the power of this administration or any future president to enact similar bans.

Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center, released the following statement:

“For over three years, this administration has demonstrated a reckless and cruel abuse of power by issuing bans that have targeted Muslims, Africans, refugees, and asylum-seekers for the sole purpose of shutting out communities of color and fulfilling Trump’s signature and racist campaign promise to shut out Muslims.

“This decision to delay repealing the ban in all of its iterations will further that harm, which is why it is crucial that House leadership continue to publicly commit to bringing the NO BAN Act to a vote immediately after the congressional recess. Although we are disheartened by the decision to delay the vote, we remain steadfast in our commitment to working with members of Congress to ensure that the NO BAN Act is passed in its current form, without any changes.

“The time to act is now.”

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National Immigration Law Center Announces Key Leadership Hires

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2020

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

National Immigration Law Center Announces Key Leadership Hires

Nation’s leading immigrants’ rights organization welcomes new chief operating officer, director of communications

LOS ANGELES — The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) announced today the addition of two senior staff to its leadership team: Adnan Bokhari will serve as NILC’s chief operating officer, and Victoria Ballesteros has joined the team as NILC’s director of communications.

Adnan Bokhari, Chief Operating Officer (COO)
Bokhari will serve on NILC’s Executive Leadership Team and play a key role implementing NILC’s strategic priorities, including advancing racial equity through organizational systems and policies. He will lead the finance, human resources, information technology, administration, and development teams. Bokhari will join NILC on March 2, 2020, and will be based in Washington, DC.

“We are excited to have Adnan take the helm of our operations at this critical time in NILC’s history, as the organization experiences unprecedented growth and executes multiple transformational initiatives to advance our vision for immigration in this country,” stated Marielena Hincapié, executive director of NILC. “Adnan will play a key role in moving our work forward while creating an organizational infrastructure to support our continued success,” continued Hincapié.

“I am thrilled to be joining the leading immigrant rights organization at this important time for the movement and our nation. I migrated to the United States at the age of 15 and experienced first-hand the arduous path that millions of low-income immigrants traverse in pursuit of a better future. Being a part of NILC’s amazingly talented team offers a distinguished opportunity to advance its mission by utilizing my personal and professional background,” stated Bokhari.

Bokhari is a certified public accountant and brings 20 years of finance and operations experience in the nonprofit sector to NILC. He most recently served as CFO and COO for a national anti-poverty organization based in Washington, DC. Bokhari has gained expertise in leading change and garnered a reputation for building resilient organizations.  He is also the first Pakistani-American to be elected as chairman of the board of directors of Golden Key International Honour Society, the world’s largest collegiate honor society. He also serves on the board of Virginia Community Colleges System (VCCS) appointed by the governor of Virginia, and is chair of the Personnel Committee of the VCCS board.

Victoria Ballesteros, Director of Communications
Ballesteros joined NILC’s Senior Leadership Team in January and will develop strategic communication initiatives for the organization. She is based in Los Angeles, and leads staff in Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

“We are elated to welcome Victoria Ballesteros to the NILC team, where she will help grow the visibility and reach of NILC’s work on behalf of immigrants,” stated Hincapié. “So much of what we do requires effective communication strategy, and Victoria brings an incredible blend of strategic and tactical experience to NILC that will support our continued growth and success.”

“My parents are immigrants from Mexico, and I am intimately familiar with the injustices faced by those coming to this country in search of a better life. I cannot think of a more meaningful way to honor their sacrifices than to join NILC in its efforts to protect and advance the rights and opportunities of immigrants, particularly at this time in our nation’s history when immigrants are under relentless attacks by the Trump administration,” stated Ballesteros.

Ballesteros has more than 15 years of experience leading communication efforts in the nonprofit and public sectors. She has worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, the Children’s Defense Fund, Long Beach Redevelopment Agency, California’s Senate Majority Leader, and The SCAN Foundation. Ms. Ballesteros has a master’s degree in communication management from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the California State University, Fullerton, with a minor in Chicano studies. She is fluent in Spanish.

ABOUT NILC

Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center is the leading advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their loved ones. NILC’s mission is grounded in the belief that everyone living in the U.S. — regardless of race, gender/gender identity, immigration status, or economic status — should have equal access to justice, resources, and educational and economic opportunities that enable them to achieve their full human potential. NILC is committed to advancing its mission — which intersects race, immigration status, and class — through a racial, economic, and gender justice and equity orientation.

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Fight Fear With Facts, NILC Urges As Trump Public Charge Policy Takes Effect

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 24, 2020

CONTACT
Email: [email protected]
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279

Fight Fear With Facts, NILC Urges As Trump Public Charge Policy Takes Effect

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Department of State today began implementing the Trump administration’s new “public charge” regulations, a cornerstone of the administration’s attempts to redefine the U.S. immigration system to disenfranchise communities of color and favor the wealthy. The new policy dramatically alters the criteria used in adjudicating applications for lawful permanent residence to make it much more difficult for low- and moderate-income families to overcome the new test.

The new public charge test reviews numerous factors in determining whether an applicant is likely to use an expanded list of public benefits at any time in the future. Few people who are subject to the public charge test qualify for the programs covered by the regulations, but the regulations’ criteria — including new thresholds for income, age, health conditions, and English language proficiency to be weighed in the test — will dramatically reduce the diversity of immigrants to the U.S. As illustrated in a new NILC report released today, fear and confusion over the regulations have already harmed the health and well-being of immigrant families — overwhelmingly families of color — all over the country.

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

“Today, as the implementation of the Trump administration’s pernicious public charge policy weighs heavily on the minds of many immigrants and their families, all of us who value the diversity of our nation and share a vision for a more just and equitable country must strengthen our resolve to keep fighting to uphold our values.

“Over the past three years, the Trump administration has used threats, false starts, exaggeration, and misinformation about public charge to deliberately spread fear and confusion among immigrant communities navigating an already dysfunctional system. These tactics are designed to maximize this cruel new policy’s harmful impact. As a result, we’ve heard far too many reports of families avoiding crucial economic support programs vital to their children and loved ones’ well-being, even before the policy went into effect.

“Faced with these kinds of attacks, we must arm ourselves and our communities with reliable information. Fear is Trump’s weapon of choice, and facts are families’ best defense.

“All of us can also use our voice to fight back against these regulations. Let your elected officials at the local, state, and federal level know that you oppose these hateful efforts to radically restrict our legal immigration system to only the wealthy and stigmatize use of government assistance programs and the immigrant communities who may need an extra hand in order to get on their feet. This policy may be in the rule books today, but future administrations can and should remove it immediately.

“This fight is about the country we want. We must reject Trump’s attempts to redefine who we are and who belongs here. We must keep striving for a country that welcomes newcomers and where each of us — no matter the size of our pocketbook, what we look like, or where we were born — has the ability to fulfill our potential grounded in the same spirit of opportunity that has fostered generations of success stories throughout American history.

“We urge voters who share this vision of a diverse country where everyone has the freedom to thrive to make your voices heard this November in this most consequential election.”

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Individuals and service providers seeking more information about the new “public charge” rule should visit ProtectingImmigrantFamilies.org.

Federal Court Finds Conditions in Customs and Border Protection Detention Facilities Unconstitutional

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 19, 2020

CONTACT
– Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, 213-375-3149, [email protected]
– Maria Frausto, American Immigration Council, 202-507-7526, [email protected]
– Marcela Taracena, ACLU of Arizona, 602-773-6004, [email protected]
– Kristin Loe, Morrison & Foerster, 415-268-6410, [email protected]
– Matthew Kovac, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, 415-510-9601, [email protected]

Federal Court Finds Conditions in Customs and Border Protection Detention Facilities Unconstitutional

Court orders Tucson Sector CBP to meet migrants’ basic human needs following 48 hours from book-in time

TUCSON, AZ — A federal court today ordered U.S. Customs and Border Protection to overhaul the way the agency detains people in its custody in its Tucson Sector. The court found that the conditions in CBP holding cells, especially those that preclude sleep over several nights, are presumptively punitive and violate the U.S. Constitution.

The court’s order enjoins CBP from holding detainees longer than 48 hours “unless and until CBP can provide conditions of confinement that meet detainees’ basic human needs for sleeping in a bed with a blanket, a shower, food that meets acceptable dietary standards, potable water, and medical assessment performed by a medical professional.”

The lawsuit, Doe v. Wolf, was filed by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Immigration Council, ACLU of Arizona, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, and Morrison & Foerster LLP.

The following comments are from:

Individual formerly detained by CBP in the Tucson Sector, identified as Witness B during trial in this litigation: “I feel very happy to know that things are going to change in these detention centers and that people will not have to spend much time under the conditions I was detained in. It is really a joy to know that the necessary medical care will be available, that there will be other food available, and that those who have to be detained for longer periods of time will be held in a place where conditions are adequate. I am very happy to know that I helped make things better for all of the people who follow. So many people will benefit from being treated better during the time they have to be detained there.”

Alvaro M. Huerta, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center: “Today’s decision is a tremendous victory for communities everywhere fighting courageously to uphold human dignity and the rights enshrined in our Constitution. The court recognizes the grave injustices suffered by our brave plaintiffs and tens of thousands of others similarly detained by the Border Patrol in deplorable, dangerous conditions in the Tucson Sector. We are enthused that our justice system has intervened in a meaningful way to institute much-needed change and hold CBP accountable.”

Mary Kenney, directing attorney of litigation with the American Immigration Council: “Through this lawsuit, we have been able to shed light on the realities of the inhumane treatment of migrants in CBP detention facilities. In its decision, the court recognized that conditions in CBP’s Tucson Sector are ‘substantially worse’ than those afforded criminal detainees in jail facilities. Today’s monumental victory ensures that CBP cannot hold migrants in the Tucson Sector over 48 hours without providing conditions that meet basic human needs and serves as an example of the standards that should apply in all CBP facilities.”

Colette Reiner Mayer, trial counsel from Morrison & Foerster LLP: “This is an excellent outcome and we look forward to its implementation. With the court’s order we have secured a permanent solution and hopefully the sickening conditions in these facilities will improve. After years of collecting evidence and preparing and trying this case, the border detention facilities will no longer be allowed to violate the Constitution. Civil detainees in Border Patrol stations have suffered for too long, and this decision will pave the way for systemic change across the country.”

Alessandra Navidad, executive director for the ACLU of Arizona: “Today’s order affirms what our clients and migrants subjected to CBP detention have been saying for years — conditions in these facilities are degrading and violate the U.S. Constitution. Witness testimony and videos shown at trial revealed overcrowding so severe that some migrants were forced to sleep next to toilets. The court found that these conditions violate standards of basic decency and puts migrants at risk of serious harm. We will continue to ensure that this agency is held accountable for civil rights abuses against migrants in their custody.”

Bree Bernwanger, senior staff attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area: “In today’s decision, a federal court has powerfully validated what our brave clients have been stepping forward to tell us for years: that conditions in the Tucson Sector punish them and deprive them of their dignity. We are thrilled that Border Patrol is, for the first time, being held accountable to the Constitution and can no longer prioritize detention over safety and human dignity.”

Read the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law and judgment.

Attorneys involved in the case and individuals formerly detained by CBP in the Tucson Sector held a telephonic press briefing following the court order, where they spoke about the court’s ruling and the implications of this decision. A recording of the briefing is available at https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Doe-press-conference-2020-02-19.mp3.

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No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition Urges Support of NO BAN Act As It Moves into Committee Markup

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2020

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, NILC, [email protected], 202-805-0375
Sabrina Chin, Asian Law Caucus, [email protected], 415-351-9737

No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition Urges Support of NO BAN Act As It Moves into Committee Markup

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, the House Judiciary Committee will begin the markup process on the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants Act, also known as the NO BAN Act. The legislation would immediately repeal prior versions of President Trump’s Muslim ban, including one that specifically targets refugees, and an asylum ban that targets asylum-seekers arriving at the border, change immigration law to prohibit discrimination based on religion, and limit the power of this administration or any future administration to enact similar bans.

“In the three years since Trump issued numerous iterations of a Muslim ban, families have suffered years of separation and countless people have had their studies and career opportunities suddenly derailed or been denied life-saving care,” said Avideh Moussavian, legislative director at the National Immigration Law Center. “This administration has abused its authority to try to rewrite our immigration laws to openly discriminate against Muslims, including refugees and Africans, as well as asylum-seekers and others. The NO BAN Act is a critical step towards ensuring that we repeal these shameful bans, prevent this kind of blatant religious discrimination, and limit bans like this in the future. It’s crucial that Congress mark up and eventually pass the strongest and most inclusive version of the NO BAN Act.”

“This new Muslim ban expansion dramatically increases the number of Muslim majority countries as well as the number of African ones subject to a ban. The Trump administration continues to separate families, cause travel concerns, and create tension in communities. Congress must step in to pass the NO BAN Act immediately to put a stop to this, before it goes any further,” said Zahra Billoo, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, San Francisco Bay Area.

“The Muslim ban in all its iterations is racist and targets people based on faith, race, and nationality. It’s part of a broader white nationalist agenda being implemented by the Trump administration,” said Linda Sarsour, executive director of MPower Change. “The NO BAN Act is an important step and message to this administration that Americans will not stand for this type of discrimination and banning of people looking for better opportunities or to be reunited with their families. We call on Congress to pass an inclusive and strong version of the NO BAN Act.”

“We’ve seen first-hand how devasting each iteration of the Muslim ban is to the communities we serve. This reckless family separation policy completely disregards the real harm and trauma to American families, immigrants of color, and refugees. We must repeal the Muslim ban and ensure that no president can enact xenophobic policies like this ever again,” said Aarti Kohli, executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus.

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