Category Archives: News Releases

NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Planned Expansion of Title 42 Expulsions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2022

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

NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Planned Expansion of Title 42 Expulsions

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to reports that the Biden administration is aiming to expand the use of Title 42 expulsions:

“Title 42 epitomizes our country’s failings to welcome those seeking safety with dignity and humanity. That the Biden administration would attempt to expand the use of this deadly program after previously ending it directly contradicts the values to which this country aspires.

“Rather than building and expanding on cruel and inhumane Trump policies, we urge President Biden to lead in finding creative regional solutions. We urge the administration to reverse course on this misguided attempt to double down on failed deterrence approaches that only exacerbate migration challenges. At a time of rising levels of migration across the globe due to war, climate disasters, and gender-based violence, the U.S. must instead embrace its promise to build an equitable and humane 21st century immigration system that meets this moment in history.”

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NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s Public Charge Rule

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 8, 2022

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

NILC Statement on the Biden Administration’s Public Charge Rule

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s new public charge rule:

“For several years, the National Immigration Law Center and a broad diverse coalition of allies fought back against Trump’s cruel public charge wealth test that threatened the health, nutrition, and housing of millions of families. The Biden administration’s public charge rule aligns with longstanding principles in immigration law and provides helpful clarifications to pre-existing guidance. This policy is an important step in advancing the Biden administration’s priority of addressing socioeconomic and racial inequities that have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We look forward to continuing to work with the Biden administration to ensure these regulations are implemented and communicated in a way that will promote healthier communities and affirm that all of us – no matter how much money we have, where we were born, or what we look like – have access to the tools and supports we need to thrive.”

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NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s New DACA Regulation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 24, 2022

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

NILC Statement on Biden Administration’s New DACA Regulation 

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s newly released regulation on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy:

“For more than ten years, DACA has positively transformed the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and their communities. We welcome the Biden administration’s continued efforts to ensure that DACA recipients can remain here in the country they call home. While the Biden administration’s new rule sends a clear message that DACA works, our communities need more.

“Strengthening DACA is a crucial step, but it is not a substitute for congressional action. Congress must pass a permanent solution, not only for DACA recipients, but for as many immigrant youth as possible. As we continue to fight back politically motivated attacks on DACA, we urge the administration to move swiftly to implement the new rule and ensure a measure of stability for hundreds of thousands of our community members whose home is here.”

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NILC and SPLC Win Class Certification in Lawsuit Alleging ICE and IRS Agents Violated Workers’ Civil Rights During Workplace Raid

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 11, 2022

CONTACT
National Immigration Law Center, Emily Morris, [email protected], 213-457-7458
Southern Poverty Law Center, Anna Núñez, [email protected], 334-201-9236

NILC and SPLC Win Class Certification in Lawsuit Alleging ICE and IRS Agents Violated Workers’ Civil Rights During Workplace Raid

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal court in Tennessee has cleared the way for a collective federal civil rights action brought on behalf of over 100 Latino workers against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents involved in the planning and execution of a racially-motivated workplace raid at a Tennessee meat processing plant, on April 5, 2018.  Earlier this week, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee granted class certification in Isabel Zelaya, et al. v. Robert Hammer, et al, a lawsuit alleging ICE and IRS agents violated workers’ civil rights.

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), along with their co-counsel, sought class certification on behalf of approximately 100 Latino workers who were unlawfully targeted for arrest on the basis of their race and ethnicity on April 5, 2018, in what was the largest workplace immigration raid in nearly a decade. Agents from ICE, the IRS, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the Tennessee Highway Patrol, and the Morristown Police Department carried out the raid. The federal lawsuit alleges claims of conspiracy to violate workers’ equal protection rights, excessive force, and false arrest.  

The court, in granting the workers’ motion for class certification, ruled that Plaintiffs satisfied all class action requirements, and that the class action is likely the only way over one-hundred Latino workers impacted during the raid could bring these claims. The court found the Plaintiffs submitted evidence suggesting that each class member was allegedly harmed through the execution of a single plan orchestrated by the IRS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Additionally, the court found that “in the run-up to the Raid, case agents frequently discussed arresting Hispanic workers and conflated Hispanic ethnicity with illegal status,” noting that ‘“the initial plan for the Raid indicated that ‘Hispanics’ will be processed through HSI/ERO procedures,” and that Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) ‘anticipate[d] working late into the evening processing the Hispanics the day of the warrant.’” 

The court also noted that the evidence to date showed that “No white workers were arrested on the day of the Raid,” but that the “individuals arrested that day and transported to the Armory were uniformly Hispanic,” and that agents “detained the Latino employees — even those who asserted they had valid work authorizations — and transported them to the Morristown Armory on vans.”

The ruling means that over 100 Latino class members may now proceed collectively to prosecute this civil rights case against ICE and IRS agents as the case enters the summary judgment phase this fall.  

The following statements are provided by:

Michelle Lapointe, senior staff attorney, National Immigration Law Center

“This raid was conducted in an unnecessarily violent, humiliating and demeaning manner toward Latino workers. Plaintiffs seek justice on behalf of all Latino workers detained during the raid. We are pleased the court will allow the case to proceed as a class action, and look forward to proving our claims in court.”

Meredith Stewart, senior supervising attorney for the Immigrant Justice Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center

“As class counsel, we look forward to defending the constitutional rights of each class member whom the federal agents unlawfully targeted for enforcement during the Raid. The Constitution protects all people from law enforcement overreach, and the class members look forward to vindicating those rights in Court. This week’s ruling is a significant step in our fight for justice for our clients and their families.”

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BACKGROUND:

Zelaya et al. v. Miles et al. was filed on Feb. 21, 2019.  Plaintiffs are represented by the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), pro bono attorneys Eben P. Colby, Jeremy A. Berman, Arthur R. Bookout and the law firms of Sherrard, Roe, Voigt & Harbison and Sperling & Slater. On April 5, 2018, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), with assistance from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Tennessee Highway Patrol and the Morristown Police Department, executed the largest workplace immigration raid in nearly a decade, detaining approximately 100 Latino workers at an east Tennessee meat processing plant, violating their civil rights. 

NILC Celebrates Senate Passage of Health and Climate Bill, Rejection of Anti-Immigrant Agenda

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2022

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

NILC Celebrates Senate Passage of Health and Climate Bill, Rejection of Anti-Immigrant Agenda 

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement upon Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act — landmark health and climate legislation: 

“Today is a historic day for our country and for our planet. While far from perfect, this bill promises to take major steps towards bolstering the health of our communities and ensuring that future generations will have a more sustainable world to live in. Importantly, the Senate sent a clear message that hate and xenophobia have no place in our society by voting down every anti-immigrant amendment, including amendments that would have codified the Trump administration’s Title 42 asylum ban. We commend Majority Leader Schumer for his leadership in keeping the Democratic caucus united around delivering this legislation. We are especially thankful to Senators Menendez and Padilla, who stood up as our champions to advocate boldly on behalf of asylum seekers and low-income immigrant communities throughout the process.

“We urge the House to move quickly to pass this legislation, and for President Biden to sign it into law. We stand ready to continue to support our partners and allies in the climate justice and healthcare sectors as they work to make our communities at home and abroad safer, healthier, and more sustainable. We look forward to partnering with the Biden administration, Congress, and stakeholders across civil society to take positive, constructive action on a host of immigration issues, including by passing legislation that would provide permanent protections for DACA recipients.”

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NILC Statement Urging Democrats to Reject Harmful Anti-Immigrant Amendments in Crucial Reconciliation Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022

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

NILC Statement Urging Democrats to Reject Harmful Anti-Immigrant Amendments in Crucial Reconciliation Bill

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement ahead of the upcoming deliberation in Congress on a health care and climate bill:

“With Congress poised to act on unprecedented legislation that addresses critical issues facing our communities on healthcare and our planet due to increasing climate disasters, lawmakers must reject any attempt to poison this historic legislation with unrelated, harmful immigration amendments.

“Democratic leaders must be unequivocal and ensure any anti-immigrant amendments are kept out of this bill, including opposing any final version that departs from the climate and healthcare deal to codify the Trump administration’s Title 42 asylum ban.

“For years, Republicans have repeatedly blocked efforts to pass real legislative solutions to update our dysfunctional immigration system. Capitulating to their politically motivated scapegoating of immigrants, and allowing them to use a climate and health care bill to block people seeking safety and freedom, would be unconscionable.

“A deal’s a deal, and there’s no reason to allow political gamesmanship to poison this legislation with anti-immigrant provisions that would harm our country.”

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NILC Statement on Court Decision in Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022

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

NILC Statement on Court Decision in Pars Equality Center v. Pompeo  

WASHINGTON — After a federal court ruled that the Biden administration must undo the harms of the Muslim and African Bans and reconsider denied visa applications, Max Wolson, staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“This momentous victory is a result of tireless organizing by communities around the country and will have profound impact on those whose lives and livelihoods have been derailed by the Muslim and African bans. Now, we look to the Biden administration to do the right thing by living up to its promises, redressing the ongoing harms of these discriminatory bans, and finally establishing a fair process to ensure that people denied opportunities and relief in the U.S. no longer have to live in limbo.”

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Families, Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Court Decision that U.S. Government Must Redress Muslim Ban Harms 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 2, 2022

CONTACT
Madison Allman, NILC, [email protected], 202-384-1279
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, [email protected]org

Families, Civil Rights Organizations Celebrate Court Decision that U.S. Government Must Redress Muslim Ban Harms 

Federal court rules Biden administration must undo the harms of the Muslim and African Bans and proactively reconsider denied visa applicants 

No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition of over 100 Muslim and immigrants’ rights groups hails decision, mobilizes to hold Biden administration accountable to ruling

SAN FRANCISCO – While families remain separated by the Trump administration’s racist and Islamophobic Muslim and African Bans, a federal court in San Francisco ruled in Pars Equality Center, et. al. v. Pompeo, et. al. that the Biden administration must  undo the harms of the Bans. 

The Biden administration must now meet with the plaintiffs to establish a fair and effective process to reopen and reconsider applications from people who were denied family reunification, jobs and educational opportunities, and medical treatment as a result of the Bans and the current administration’s protracted refusals to redress the lasting harms, even after rescinding the Bans on President Biden’s first day in office. 

“Our clients have been living in legal limbo for years, unable to live full, abundant lives, pursue their careers, and start a family,” said Paris Etemadi Scott, Legal Director at Pars Equality Center, which brought the lawsuit with others in 2018. “Communities in every part of the U.S. and in countries around the world are celebrating: the Biden administration must finish the work of their rescission and end the shameful discrimination that people from Muslim-majority and African countries have faced, simply because of where they were born. This decision shows the power of relentless community organizing for what’s right.” 

With offices spread across California, Pars Equality Center provides extensive social and legal services to Iranian Americans, Persian-speaking, and other underserved immigrant communities. Since the Biden administration rescinded the Bans, dozens of the center’s clients have endured an indefinite state of limbo. As a result of the ruling, the U.S. government has been ordered to quickly remedy the lasting harms of the Bans with a clear and legitimate process.

In the wake of the ruling, the No Muslim Ban Ever Coalition, the largest national grassroots coalition focused on rescinding the Bans, is mobilizing to ensure the Biden administration effectively and swiftly implements the court’s ruling. The coalition continues to advocate for the NO BAN Act, which would limit dangerously broad authority in U.S. immigration law so that no future president can issue bans that bar the entry of people based on their religion or national origin. 

Prior to rescission, more than 41,800 individuals and families have been denied visas and waivers under the Muslim and African Bans without notice of the process, an opportunity to submit evidence or file for reconsideration. Despite the Biden administration’s rescission of the Bans, families remain separated and caught in a black hole of administrative delays, with little information or clarity and no recourse to repair the damage. More than 34,800 people signed a petition in the past year urging the Biden administration to allow all individuals who were denied entry by the Bans their fair shot at immigration.

Pars Equality Center and community members from Muslim-majority countries were represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus, Council on American-Islamic Relations – California, Iranian American Bar Association, and Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Additional details and documents related to the case, Pars Equality Center, et. al. v. Pompeo, et. al., can be found here: https://www.nilc.org/issues/litigation/pars-equality-center-v-pompeo/

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NILC Statement on the Nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 29, 2022

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

NILC Statement on the Nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement on President Biden’s nomination of Araceli Martínez-Olguín, a supervising attorney at NILC, to serve as a federal district judge:

“The National Immigration Law Center proudly and enthusiastically supports the nomination of our own Araceli Martínez-Olguín to serve as a federal judge in the Northern District of California. Ms. Martínez-Olguín is an exemplary litigator whose work over many years at NILC and other leading national civil rights organizations has served to advance gender, economic, and racial equity, and justice for all people. Her remarkable understanding of the Constitution and the law, her tenacity in advocating for the people she has represented throughout her career, and her lived experience as a Latina immigrant will bring an invaluable perspective to the federal judiciary at this crucial moment for our country. She is exactly the type of judge we need on the federal bench who will be fair, judicious, and ensure that our legal system can still be a tool for achieving equity, equality, and justice for all.

“Ms. Martínez-Olguín’s nomination is a testament to President Biden’s commitment to nominating qualified jurists to serve on the bench, who also move us closer to a judiciary that reflects the diversity of our country. We thank Senator Padilla for recommending her nomination and we urge the Senate Judiciary Committee to expeditiously consider and confirm Ms. Martínez-Olguín to serve as a federal judge.”

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NILC Statement on the Department of Labor’s Guidance for Workers Involved in Labor Disputes 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2022

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

NILC Statement on the Department of Labor’s Guidance for Workers Involved in Labor Disputes 

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Department of Labor’s announcement of a process by which workers involved in labor disputes can request temporary immigration protections: 

“The Department of Labor’s actions to protect immigrant workers are an important step toward advancing President Biden’s historic commitment to support worker organizing and empowerment, and critical to ensuring the rights of all workers. This victory is the result of years of organizing by workers and advocates and demonstrates the progress workers can achieve when they come together.  

“Providing temporary protections to immigrant workers that allow them to safely fight back against injustices in the workplace will bolster all workers’ rights. The Department of Homeland Security must swiftly follow through on their commitment to clarify the process by which workers can access protections so that all working people, including immigrant workers, can do their jobs safely and with dignity.”   

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