Category Archives: News Releases

DHS Memos Lay Out Mass Deportation Blueprint

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2017

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

DHS Memos Lay Out Mass Deportation Blueprint

LOS ANGELES — The Trump administration today released documents laying out a plan for radical changes to immigration enforcement. The documents set into policy draconian and expensive measures outlined in President Trump’s immigration executive orders, including mandatory detention, rushed court proceedings, and a rollback in protections for unaccompanied children apprehended at the border.

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

“The Trump administration has created a blueprint for mass deportation like we’ve never seen. Today’s memos are breathtaking in scope, undoing decades of guidance and best practice intended to help protect vulnerable populations. If unhindered, they will wreak havoc on our economy, our communities, and our families.

“President Trump is governing by fear and not by what is best for the American people. As we have seen in the past few weeks, the consistency and uniformity required to have rule of law has gone out the window. Longtime community members and members of well-established families are being detained and deported. Everyone is now a priority for immigration enforcement.

“Our country is better than this, and better judgment will ultimately prevail, but this is a dangerous time that requires us all to fight back against these policies. We are committed to ensuring immigrants are well-informed about their constitutional rights so that they can make empowered decisions. Every single immigrant needs to have a safety plan in place. We are determined to do everything necessary to ensure that these policies don’t get implemented.”

Information about immigration enforcement–related rights is available at www.nilc.org/KnowYourRights (www.nilc.org/ConozcaSusDerechos) and www.nilc.org/know-your-rights/.

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Statement on Leaked DHS Memo Proposing National Guard Mobilization for Immigration Enforcement

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2017

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

Statement on Leaked DHS Memo Proposing National Guard Mobilization for Immigration Enforcement

WASHINGTON — Media reports on Friday revealed that the Trump administration may be considering draconian and expensive immigration enforcement measures, including mandatory detention, rushed court proceedings, a rollback in protections for unaccompanied children apprehended at the border, construction of new detention facilities and a border wall, and the enlisting of National Guard troops as immigration enforcement agents.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“For a month now the Trump administration has terrorized our communities with a chaotic and inhumane reimaging of our immigration system. The Muslim ban rollout, widespread raids, and the arrests of a domestic violence survivor and immigrant youth have created a climate of fear in our communities like never before. We don’t need to see the implementation of this leaked memo to understand the xenophobic and nativist vision driving the administration’s immigration policies.

“The leaked memo contemplates a virtual police state for millions of Americans. It would entail an unprecedented, legally dubious expansion of a failed program, 287g, that federal courts have found sets the groundwork for racial profiling. And it would roll back legal protections and deny due process and other civil rights to people seeking refuge from violence and extreme poverty.

“That the administration would even consider such reprehensible measures is unacceptable, and it will certainly continue to stoke fear in our immigrant communities until DHS Secretary John Kelly provides clarity. We call on Kelly to immediately and categorically disavow the contents of this leaked memo.”

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Statement on Reported Detention of DACA Recipient

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 14, 2017

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

Statement on Reported Detention of DACA Recipient

WASHINGTON — Media reports on Tuesday made public the case of Daniel Ramirez Medina, a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, who was detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement at his home in Seattle, Wash., last week.

DACA, announced by the Obama administration in 2012, allows immigrant youth who were brought to the U.S. as children to live and work here temporarily if they meet certain requirements and pay a fee. President Donald Trump has not made clear what he intends to do with the program, but there have been no announced changes to DACA to date.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This is part of the chaos created by the Trump administration’s recent actions undoing guidelines intended to provide clarity to field agents. The people ICE calls ‘collateral’ are in fact integral members of our communities.

“People like Daniel came forward, submitted applications, passed background checks, and earned work authorization and a temporary reprieve from deportation. To detain him now isn’t just senseless, it’s cruel. President Trump and his Republican enablers in Congress have created a climate of fear in immigrant communities. Dept. of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly must take the reins and end the chaos now.”

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NILC Statement on the Confirmation of Tom Price to Head HHS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 10, 2017

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

NILC Statement on the Confirmation of Tom Price to Head HHS

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as Secretary of Health and Human Services.

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

“Rep. Tom Price for years has led a hyperpartisan attack on the Affordable Care Act and other federal programs that have been essential in expanding access to affordable health care to millions of Americans. Along with his fellow Republicans, Price has failed to come up with an acceptable alternative, instead advocating for policies that would undermine protections for those most in need. It is disheartening that Price will now oversee the very programs he has worked to undo.”

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NILC Statement on the Confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 8, 2017

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

NILC Statement on the Confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as Attorney General

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate today voted to confirm Alabama senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. attorney general, the top post in the Department of Justice.

Kamal Essaheb, policy and advocacy director at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The attorney general is the people’s lawyer. As the head of the principal arm of our government charged with protecting our rights and civil liberties, anyone taking on this role must decisively stand up to those who would attempt to undermine them.

“Sadly, given his track record of systematically marginalizing already disenfranchised communities, we are not confident that Sessions will live up to this high standard. The National Immigration Law Center will be watching closely, and we will not hesitate to hold Sessions accountable for any misstep in his running of the Justice Department.”

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Groups File New Challenge to Trump Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2017

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, NILC, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc.org
Inga Sarda-Sorensen, ACLU, 212-284-7347, isarda-sorensen@aclu.org

Groups File New Challenge to Trump Muslim Ban

BALTIMORE — A new federal lawsuit was filed today challenging President Trump’s Muslim-ban executive order, charging it violates the Constitution—including the First Amendment’s prohibition against government establishment of religion and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees of equal treatment under the law—and federal laws.

The lawsuit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Maryland, and the National Immigration Law Center on behalf of HIAS and the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, along with individuals, including U.S. citizens, impacted by the ban. The complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland.

The following are quotes from:

Becca Heller, director of the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center. “We represent over 500 displaced families from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and elsewhere, who are desperate to find safety in the United States. The president’s discriminatory executive order has trapped these vulnerable people in life-threatening conditions. We are currently devoting nearly all of our resources to finding emergency remedies to protect them, when we should be utilizing existing legal pathways that could offer them permanent safety.”

Nicholas Espíritu, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. “There is no question that President Trump’s executive order violates bedrock legal principles and protections, and that it singles out Muslims for disfavored treatment. We will not stand for this kind of government discrimination that clearly runs afoul of our Constitution and human decency. These actions are shameful and un-American.”

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. “President Trump’s Muslim ban is unconstitutional. Appropriately, the government is currently prohibited from implementing the executive order, and the plaintiffs in this case stand ready to take further action to protect their rights.”

HIAS President and CEO Mark Hetfield. “As an organization that has long partnered with the U.S. government, litigation is unprecedented for HIAS, but we feel we have no other choice. We cannot remain silent as Muslim refugees are turned away just for being Muslim, just as we could not stand idly by when the U.S. turned away Jewish refugees fleeing Germany during the 1930s and 40s. Our history and our values, as Jews and as Americans, require us to fight this illegal and immoral new policy with every tool at our disposal—including litigation.”

A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here: https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/DoesvTrump2.7.17.pdf

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NILC Responds to Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court of Judge Neil Gorsuch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2017

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

NILC Responds to Nomination to U.S. Supreme Court of Judge Neil Gorsuch

LOS ANGELES — President Donald Trump today announced the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. The announcement comes after Senate Republicans refused for nearly a year to give former President Barack Obama’s choice, Merrick Garland, a fair hearing. The seat has been vacant since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in February 2016.

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

“As the ultimate arbiter of the Constitution and our ability to uphold our most cherished values, the Supreme Court is an indispensable part of our democracy. The American people deserve a justice who is independent and open-minded, and who can fairly weigh the facts when taking on critical legal questions that have broad and meaningful impact on their lives.

“The extreme and deeply concerning actions taken so far by the president, including his recent policies attacking immigrants and refugees, make clear that the next justice to the Supreme Court must be willing to serve as a check on blatant abuses of power and policies that contradict our Constitution and core American values.

“Following the shameful, politically-motivated obstruction on display for nearly a year, we call on all senators to take seriously their constitutional duty to thoroughly and fairly vet Judge Neil Gorsuch’s qualifications and character. We expect the Senate to provide the level of scrutiny worthy of this high post.”

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Federal Court Orders U.S. Government to Allow Refugees and Others Impacted by Trump Immigration Order to Stay

Frequently asked questions about the Trump travel and refugee ban are
answered at www.nilc.org/faq-exec-order-targeting-refugees-and-muslims/.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 28, 2017

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

Federal Court Orders U.S. Government to Allow Refugees and Others Impacted by Trump Immigration Order to Stay

NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York has granted a nationwide stay of removal preventing the Trump administration from deporting refugees and others who had lawful authority to enter the United States.

The order issued by Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York comes after leading civil rights groups earlier today filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s executive order banning refugees and other individuals from certain countries from entering the U.S. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who were targeted by insurgents for their associations with the U.S. military and who were approved for resettlement in the U.S. earlier this month. Both men have since been released from having been detained at New York’s JFK Airport, but many similarly situated people are currently being detained at U.S. airports.

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

“This is a great victory for our clients Hameed and Haider, and for the many others across the country whose lives were suddenly turned upside-down by President Trump’s inhumane and unconstitutional order. It means that those fleeing horrific conditions, who fought alongside soldiers protecting our country, or who were merely caught up in the sheer irresponsibility of this order will not be sent away.

“Today, we fought to protect the right of our two clients and all similarly held in airports across the country, and we fought to defend our Constitution and treasured American values of equality and freedom. The National Immigration Law Center promised we would use every resource to fight the Trump administration’s anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant agenda, and we will continue to do so. This should serve as a reminder that the Constitution applies to everybody in America.”

Today’s lawsuit was filed by Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi. They are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union Immigrants’ Rights Project, the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic (WIRAC) at Yale Law School, and Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

A copy of the stay of removal is available at https://www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/OrderGrantingStay.1.28.17.pdf

More information on this case will be available at www.nilc.org/darweesh-v-trump/ as it becomes available.

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Frequently asked questions about the Trump travel and refugee ban are answered at www.nilc.org/faq-exec-order-targeting-refugees-and-muslims/.

Trump’s Backdoor Muslim Ban Is an Affront to America’s Core Values and the Constitution

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2017

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

Trump’s Backdoor Muslim Ban Is an Affront to America’s Core Values and the Constitution

NILC and our partners will take the administration to court

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump today acted on his campaign promise to institute a Muslim ban, signing an executive order restricting people from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for a period of at least 90 days. Trump also is halting most refugee admissions for 120 days—an action that includes an indefinite halt to admissions of Syrian refugees—and is adding screening requirements for all immigration benefits. Today’s order also slashes the number of annual refugee admissions from 110,000 to 50,000 for this fiscal year.

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

“Today’s announcement is a troubling turn in our country’s history. President Trump unilaterally imposed actions today setting forth an agenda that turns its back on some of the world’s most vulnerable populations and attempts to punish people based purely on where they’re from and what they believe. The National Immigration Law Center will not stand for any such discriminatory policy and we—along with our partners in the civil rights, Muslim, and immigrant and refugee communities—are prepared to take the administration to court.

“Policies that codify hate by singling out entire groups of people contradict our most cherished American values and defy the Constitution. History has shown us how these types of policies that single out communities based on religion or national origin not only inflict great harm on our communities, but are utterly ineffective at addressing national security concerns.

“On a day when we should all be reflecting on our past mistakes, Holocaust Remembrance Day, it would serve the president well to remember that our country’s past indifference and inaction led to the senseless killings of thousands of Jews who sought unsuccessfully to flee persecution in Nazi Germany. It is appalling that on this day, of all days, President Trump would take such heartless and harmful actions against people who have been displaced by horrific violence and abject poverty.

“History will judge us harshly for turning our backs on the most vulnerable because of our ignorance and fear. The National Immigration Law Center remains steadfast in using all of our resources and expertise to defend those this administration has decided to attack.”

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Trump’s Extreme Immigration Orders Will Be Costly, Ineffective, and Harmful

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2017

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

Trump’s Extreme Immigration Orders Will Be Costly, Ineffective, and Harmful

NILC is prepared to use all resources to defend our communities and rights

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump today signed several executive orders related to immigration and border security. Trump is mandating the construction of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and wildly increasing resources for detention and deportation, while cutting resources for other immigration processes and for localities that have adopted immigrant-welcoming policies. Trump is also undercutting refugee resettlement programs and visa entry programs to effectively ban the entry into the U.S. of certain people based on their religion.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to today’s orders:

“President Trump campaigned on a hateful, xenophobic, anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, and anti-Muslim vision for America—a vision that, through his actions today, could become an extremely harsh reality. These executive orders will be costly, ineffective, and harmful, and they’ll have devastating consequences for all of us.

“Trump’s orders demand that local police become de facto immigration agents and authorize a supersizing of the Border Patrol and Immigration and Customs Enforcement, all while freezing the hiring of immigration judges. This will result in a monumental waste of taxpayer money and will create chaos in our immigration system and courts.

“Today’s actions are the first steps taken to implement a deeply troubling agenda that criminalizes people based on where they’re from and what they believe. They not only contradict our most cherished values as Americans and defy the Constitution, they don’t begin to address our country’s real needs.

“We need an immigration system that upholds our longstanding commitment to welcoming and providing for those who seek safety and opportunity, as previous generations have done. And we need to ensure that all newcomers to our country can contribute fully to our communities and economy. Finally, we need Washington to get out of the way of states and localities that have recognized that inclusive policies move everyone forward together and keep communities safe.

“To justify today’s orders, Trump has relied on repeatedly debunked lies pedaled by nativists. At the National Immigration Law Center, we know and value the facts. We are committed to using all our resources to stand with our families and communities—including by challenging these unconstitutional orders in the courts. Together, we will resist and fight to bring out the truth about our communities, our economy, and our borders.”

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