Category Archives: News Releases

E-Verify Is a Bad Deal for Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 13, 2018

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822; delatorre@nilc.org

E-Verify Is a Bad Deal for Florida

WASHINGTON — Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission is currently considering P29, a proposal to force Florida employers to use a new employment authorization system, likely E-Verify. E-Verify is the federal government’s error-ridden electronic employment eligibility verification system. Below is a statement from Jessie Hahn, labor and employment policy attorney with the National Immigration Law Center:

“We have studied the effects of E-Verify for years, and the truth is it continues to harm both U.S. citizens and authorized immigrant workers. Even one job lost because of bureaucratic red tape is too many. With E-Verify, both U.S. citizens who were born abroad and authorized immigrant workers are more likely to be negatively affected by a system error, which can result in a job loss.

“The impact of E-Verify errors on Floridians has already been felt. The National Immigration Law Center has received at least one report of a U.S. citizen who was unfairly fired from her job due to an E-Verify error and had to take a lower-paid position elsewhere. This problem would be exacerbated if all employers were forced to use this system.

“Without adequate protections, those who suffer E-Verify errors may not even know why they lose their jobs. This creates a nightmarish scenario in which the government will effectively prevent some workers with skills and work authorization from obtaining work.

“We urge state lawmakers to reject this proposal, which will only hurt Floridians.”

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DACA Recipient Stranded in Mexico Sues to Reunite with Husband in the U.S.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2018

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

DACA Recipient Stranded in Mexico Sues to Reunite with Husband in the U.S.

LOS ANGELES — A married couple separated by a failure of the U.S. immigration system today filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to allow them to reunite and continue their lives together at home in Los Angeles, Calif.

Marco Villada, a recipient of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and Israel Serrato, a U.S. citizen, are suing the U.S. State Department and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after consular officials unlawfully denied Villada’s application for a spouse visa and prohibited him from returning to the U.S., potentially indefinitely. Despite having lived nearly his entire life in the U.S. and following all the rules to adjust his immigration status, Villada is currently stranded in Mexico, away from the only place he knows as home.

“I’m an American stuck in the wrong country,” Villada said. “I don’t belong here. I belong in Los Angeles. My husband, my family, my job, my life — everything is there.”

“This isn’t just hard on us, it’s impacting our family, Marco’s coworkers, and so many other people in our lives,” Serrato said. “But despite all of this, we remain hopeful that our government will do the right thing and we will be together at home again soon.”

Villada, 34, arrived in the U.S. when he was six years old and had been approved for DACA until 2019. He and Serrato were married in 2014, six months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The couple has been working for years to adjust Villada’s status to lawful permanent residency.

In January, after USCIS approved a provisional waiver that should have allowed Villada to reenter the U.S., the couple traveled to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, for a consular interview. There, a consular official denied their visa application on grounds that legally cannot apply. USCIS also failed to properly notify Villada that the information he provided in his visa application could render the provisional waiver he received invalid.

The lawsuit contends that Villada is eligible for a spouse visa and lawfully entitled to return to the U.S. Villada and Serrato are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin, and Mayer Brown LLP.

“Marco and Israel are living any couple’s worst nightmare,” said Stacy Tolchin, attorney with the Law Offices of Stacy Tolchin. “Their story is an example of how our immigration system fails to uphold our most fundamental family values and makes a mockery of the rule of law.”

“Unfortunately, Marco and Israel are experiencing the devastating impact of Washington’s failure to find a solution for Dreamers,” said Andrew Pincus, a partner at Mayor Brown LLP. “Marco would not be stuck in Mexico today if President Trump and Congress had reached agreement on a solution for Dreamers.”

Villada has worked as a legal assistant at a law firm in Los Angeles for four years and is beloved and missed by his coworkers. Serrato, who is back in Los Angeles, had to move out of the couple’s home due to financial difficulties without Villada’s financial contribution.

Villada’s younger brother is enlisted in the U.S. Army and slated to deploy for a second tour in the Middle East in May. The news has been especially difficult for Villada’s mother, who is now having to deal with potentially being separated from two of her sons at once.

“Immigrant youth like Marco are an inextricable part of our communities,” said Nora Preciado, senior staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center. “Marco is a loving spouse, a model employee, a brother to an active duty military member, and a vibrant member of the LGBTQ community. Our anti-immigrant policies don’t just hurt immigrants — they hurt all of us.”

“Marco’s case is an example of how the Trump administration’s politics continue to tear families apart,” said Crissel Rodriguez, Southern California regional coordinator at the California Immigrant Youth Justice Alliance. “We have a president who chooses to attack and tweet about undocumented youth and fails to provide solutions that can keep families and communities safe.”

“Immigrant rights are an LGBTQ issue; more than 75,500 Dreamers identify as LGBTQ and over 36,000 of them have benefitted from DACA,” said Sarah Warbelow, legal director of the Human Rights Campaign. “Situations like Marco’s are untenable and unjust — we must do better as a country.”

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California today is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Villada-Garibay-v-State-Dept-complaint-2018-04-10.pdf.

Audio for today’s press call is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/LAWSUIT-041018.mp3

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NILC Denounces Trump Plan to Further Militarize Border Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 4, 2018

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

NILC Denounces Trump Plan to Further Militarize Border Communities

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration today announced a plan to send military personnel to the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump is expected to sign a proclamation directing the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to work with the governors of affected states to deploy the National Guard.

The announcement comes days after President Trump reacted viscerally to news reports about a campaign to draw attention to human rights abuses that people fleeing violence and poverty face while migrating in search of refuge.

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

“Trump’s plan to send troops to border communities is yet another attempt to demonize immigrants and is utterly out of touch with reality. It is intended only to distract from real issues facing our country and to appease Trump, who is increasingly angry that his border wall vanity project has stalled. Just months ago, this administration was boasting about historically low unauthorized border crossings. Every American should be outraged by this wasteful, damaging, and opportunistic use of taxpayer dollars.”

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Diverse Groups File Amicus Briefs Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to Strike Down the Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2018

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, media@nilc.org, 202-805-0375
Christina So, christinaso@advancingjustice-alc.org, 415-848-7728
CAIR National Litigation Director Lena Masri, lmasri@cair.com, 248-390-9784
CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas, gabbas@cair.com, 720-251-0425

Diverse Groups File Amicus Briefs Asking the U.S. Supreme Court to Strike Down the Muslim Ban

WASHINGTON — Hundreds of businesses, national security officials, local, state, and federal elected officials of both parties, civil rights leaders, and organizations representing impacted communities filed several dozen amicus (friend-of-the-court) briefs opposing the latest iteration of President Trump’s Muslim ban last week. The briefs, whose filers represent large swaths of Americans, provide a stark contrast to the few briefs filed in support of Trump’s ban. Oral argument on the Muslim ban before the Supreme Court will take place on April 25.

The briefs provide a variety of practical and legal arguments explaining why the Muslim ban is unconstitutional and harmful public policy.

“The breadth of groups and individuals filing amicus briefs against the Trump administration’s Muslim ban is yet another indication that the public understood this illegal effort to be an attempt to demonize Islam and stigmatize Muslims,” said CAIR Senior Litigation Attorney Gadeir Abbas.

“Hundreds of families are being torn apart. A three-year-old child has been separated from his parents and forced to live in the care of extended family thousands of miles away,” said Ibraham Qatabi, a cofounder of the Yemeni American Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “A father has had to choose between keeping his job in the U.S. or joining his stranded wife and children in Djibouti. Some families have to choose between returning to a war-torn Yemen or being stranded indefinitely in a third country. This is a great injustice.”

These briefs provide the court with perspectives that may not be presented during oral argument in Hawaii v. Trump. Last December, the National Immigration Law Center and other civil rights groups successfully challenged the constitutionality of the Muslim ban before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. These groups, along with many others, shed light on the human toll the Muslim ban has already taken on families around the globe.

“The Muslim ban affects all Somalis by stopping family unification, delaying the arrival of those who have already been vetted, creating fear and uncertainty, threatening humanitarian workers travel plans, and most recently, denying the entry of the former president of Somalia,” said Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR Minnesota and an immigrant from Somalia.

Hawaii v. Trump challenges the latest iteration of President Trump’s Muslim ban, which seeks to indefinitely ban most nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. This version of the ban has been in full effect since December 4, 2017.

“We’ve seen the devastating impact on countless families of U.S. citizens, green card–holders, students, and those with urgent medical needs since the Muslim Ban has been in effect,” said Elica Vafaie, an Iranian-American staff attorney with Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus. “Although the government has said that a waiver for these families is possible, in reality the government is achieving its goal of banning Muslims. We need the court to restore dignity and stop this unlawful ban.”

A full list of amicus briefs can be found here. To learn more about community rallies on April 25, please click here.

A coalition of civil rights organizations has engaged in legal, organizing, and advocacy efforts to fight back against each iteration of the Muslim ban. Learn more about these efforts by visiting www.NoMuslimBanEver.com.

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Trump’s Proposed Immigration Rule Would Harm All of Us (The Torch)

Trump’s Proposed Immigration Rule Would Harm All of Us

THE TORCH: CONTENTSBy Jenny Rejeske, NILC, and Madison Hardee, CLASP
MARCH 29, 2018

On March 28, the Washington Post reported on the latest chapter in the saga of the Trump administration’s attacks on immigrant families—a pernicious attempt to force families to make an impossible choice between meeting their basic needs for health care, food and shelter, and keeping their family in the United States. The administration isn’t trumpeting this change through press releases or tweets, nor is it demanding that Congress make these changes. Instead, it is using federal rulemaking to quietly make changes that would have devastating consequences for all our communities.

As detailed by the Washington Post, the Trump administration is gearing up to propose changes to how the government determines which immigrants can stay on the path toward citizenship. If the administration gets its way, factors like income, number of children, or any use of programs that help people meet basic needs—even for short periods of time—would make you ineligible to bring your family to the United States, and could affect your ability to get a green card. In short, the proposed rule would punish lawfully present families who attempt to access basic human needs like food and health care—including for their U.S. citizen children.

The proposed rule would instruct immigration agents to consider whether an immigrant or a member of their family is likely to participate in any governmental assistance program when determining who can enter the U.S. or become a permanent resident. Imagine a mom and her child being forced to live in a different country than dad because the parents thought it was important for their child have health insurance through the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

This goes against our most basic values as a nation and betrays the immigration heritage so many of us share. Many of our nation’s top doctors, scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs—as well as many of us—are the children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of immigrants who came to this country with little more than the clothes on their backs and dreams for a better future. This proposed rule makes the pursuit of that dream impossible, and would leave all our communities worse off.

For almost two decades, U.S. immigration officials have explicitly reassured eligible immigrant families that participation in programs like Medicaid and SNAP (food stamps) would not affect their ability to become permanent residents and, eventually, U.S. citizens. The proposed rule would upend over a century of existing policy and practice.

The Trump administration doesn’t stop there. It goes after an immigrant’s lawful use of tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit and Affordable Care Act subsidies, effectively penalizing immigrant families who pay taxes and expect to be treated like any other taxpayer. Imagine denying someone’s green card because they claimed a tax credit for which they were eligible.

The proposed changes represent a major step backward, pulling the entire safety net out from under taxpaying immigrant families, treating their children as second-class citizens, and putting them at greater risk of falling into poverty. Based on our research, we already know the consequences of the administration anti-immigration policies. This proposed rule change would cause even more children go hungry and lose access to basic health care. If it moves forward, the rule will have ripple-effects on the health, development, and economic outcomes of generations to come.

But we can fight back. All rules must go through a public comment period. All of us, regardless of where we were born or how much money we have, should have access to the same tools we need to thrive. We need to remind the federal government that its job is to make all of us stronger together, not to push us further apart.

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Federal Court Rules Legal Challenges to DACA Rescission Can Continue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2018

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, National Immigration Law Center, media@nilc.org, 213-375-3149
Daniel Altschuler, Make the Road New York, daniel.altschuler@maketheroadny.org, 917-494 5922
David Chen, WIRAC at Yale Law School, d.chen@ylsclinics.org, 908-240-6252

Federal Court Rules Legal Challenges to DACA Rescission Can Continue

NEW YORK — A federal district court in Brooklyn today ruled that Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen, the first legal challenge filed challenging the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, can proceed. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York rejected the federal government’s motion to dismiss the case, finding that several of the claims presented may continue. The court is simultaneously hearing a similar case brought by 17 state attorneys general led by New York, which will also proceed.

The court ruled that two constitutional claims should proceed: 1) that the Trump administration violated the equal protection guarantee by discriminating against Latinos and Mexicans in terminating DACA; and 2) that the Trump administration violated the procedural due process clause in unfairly denying certain renewal requests.

The same court in February found that the plaintiffs, six New Yorkers with DACA and Make the Road New York, are likely to succeed on their claim that the decision to end DACA was “arbitrary and capricious.” The court at the time issued a preliminary injunction allowing anyone who previously had DACA to apply for renewal. A separate court in California had ordered a similar injunction in January. Both injunctions remain in place.

Batalla Vidal v. Nielsen is brought by Martín Batalla Vidal, Antonio Alarcon, Eliana Fernandez, Carolina Fung Feng, Mariano Mondragon, Carlos Vargas, and Make the Road New York. They are represented by the National Immigration Law Center, Make the Road New York, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.

Attorneys for plaintiffs in Batalla Vidal issued the following statement:

“The court again has acknowledged that our brave plaintiffs present important claims, including that the decision to terminate DACA was rooted in Trump’s bias against Latinos, especially Mexicans. We are encouraged that the court continues to recognize the harm caused by the Trump administration’s reckless and unlawful termination of DACA.

“The court’s preliminary injunction allowing anyone who previously had DACA to apply for renewals remains in place. Eligible DACA recipients should consult with a legal service provider to decide whether to submit a renewal application now, while USCIS is accepting applications.

“While the court injunctions have allowed limited, temporary relief for some, hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth are in urgent need of a permanent solution. We will continue to fight alongside our clients and with immigrant youth and allies to ensure Dreamers have a secure future in this country, their home.”

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Groups Respond to Court Ruling Allowing Refugee Ban Lawsuit to Continue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 29, 2018

CONTACTS:
Adela de la Torre, NILC, 202-384-1275, delatorre@nilc.org
Henrike Dessaules, IRAP, 646-459-3081, hdessaules@refugeerights.org
Gabe Cahn, HIAS, 202-412-1678, gabe.cahn@hias.org
Deb Frockt, Jewish Family Service of Seattle, 206-861-3148, dfrockt@jfsseattle.org
Mindy Berkowitz, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, 408-357-7455, mindyb@jfssv.org

Groups Respond to Court Ruling Allowing Refugee Ban Lawsuit to Continue

SEATTLE — Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a motion by the government to dismiss the appeal and vacate the injunction in JFS v. Trump, which challenges the Trump administration’s Oct. 24 ban on refugees that suspended the admission of refugees from 11 countries and stopped the follow-to-join process for family members of refugees already in the United States. The Court rejected the administration’s argument that the appeal and the injunction are moot because the challenged ban has ended, after the plaintiffs had argued that they are entitled to find out whether the suspensions were continuing in another form.

The case will now return to the district court, where in December Judge James Robart largely blocked the restrictions from being implemented for refugees with “bona fide” relationships to the United States. While the judge’s decision should have brought relief to many of the affected individuals, including the plaintiffs, it is still unclear, even months later, how the administration is implementing the order. The plaintiffs will therefore be seeking discovery.

The individual plaintiffs, including an Iraqi man hiding in Egypt who had worked as a translator for the U.S. military, and a Somali refugee trying to be reunited with his wife and son, have not gotten closer to finding relief. Instead, the United States is slated to accept the lowest number of refugees since the modern refugee program began in 1980.

Jewish Family Service v. Trump was brought on behalf of Jewish Family Service of Seattle, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley, and nine individual plaintiffs by attorneys at the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP); the National Immigration Law Center (NILC); Perkins Coie LLP; HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees; and individual attorneys Lauren Aguiar, Mollie M. Kornreich, and Abigail Shaheen Davis.

In response to the ruling, the counsel and plaintiffs issued the following statements:

Rabbi Will Berkovitz, Chief Executive Officer, Jewish Family Service of Seattle: “We are gratified the Ninth Circuit has remanded our case. Allowing this process to continue ensures our government remains accountable to the rule of law and to the people it represents. Right now, it is not only the American refugee admission program that is under attack but also our core American values. During this time when our Jewish community recalls our plight as refugees we feel even more resolved in our efforts to support those who are seeking a place of safety and security for their families and the principles that have made our country a beacon of hope to so many across the world.”

Mindy Berkowitz, Executive Director, Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley: “On behalf of the families in our community who have waited for years to be reunited with their relatives, we are grateful for the court’s decision. Our American values call on us to protect the neediest among us. As our Jewish teachings continually remind us, we were once strangers in the land of Egypt. We must ensure that those who need our help and support the most, get it.”

Mark Hetfield, President and CEO, HIAS: “We are encouraged that the government’s motion for dismissal has been denied, but remain concerned that the tens of thousands of refugees who have been impacted by this executive order still face undue challenges to finding the safety and welcome that our country has traditionally offered to those who flee persecution. HIAS, our partners, and our supporters in the American Jewish community will continue to challenge the Trump Administration’s discriminatory policies until the refugee admissions program is resuscitated and the U.S. starts showing humanitarian leadership again.”

Mariko Hirose, Litigation Director, IRAP: “We applaud the court’s decision to deny the motion for dismissal. Contrary to what the government stated, this dispute is not over. It certainly isn’t over for our plaintiffs, who have seen no end to their suffering. We demand transparency from an Administration that is actively trying to ban Muslims at every opportunity and will continue to challenge their attempts at freezing refugee resettlement.”

Esther Sung, Staff Attorney, NILC: “We commend the court for allowing this case to continue so that the Trump administration can be held accountable for its ongoing effort to ban Muslims and refugees from this country. Our plaintiffs remain in dangerous and life-threatening situations. On behalf of them and thousands of other refugees like them, we will continue to fight the administration’s attempts to block refugee resettlement and erode our country’s humanitarian values.”

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Washington Wastes More Money Criminalizing Immigrants, While Keeping Dreamers in Limbo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 21, 2018

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, media@nilc.org

Washington Wastes More Money Criminalizing Immigrants, While Keeping Dreamers in Limbo

WASHINGTON — After weeks of intense negotiations, the U.S. House of Representatives has reached an agreement to fund the federal government for six months. The $1.3 trillion proposal includes funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to hire several dozen Homeland Security Investigation agents. The proposal also earmarks $1.6 billion for border security measures and funds the hiring of 135 new immigration agents and attorneys.

Absent from these proposals is any effort to provide temporary or permanent immigration relief to immigrant youth who have or may be eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. Below is a statement from Kamal Essaheb, the National Immigration Law Center’s policy and advocacy director.

“Our government already spends more money to track, detain, and deport established and contributing members of our communities than it does for all other federal criminal law enforcement combined. This proposal throws more money at a problem that doesn’t exist. It would increase resources for the criminalization of people, without providing any real benefit in terms of public safety or investment to better our immigration system.

“And, in doing so, this proposal furthers the Trump administration’s race-driven mission to terrorize immigrants and communities of color, to tear families apart, and to deport millions of people who are integral to their communities.

“Despite Trump’s constant tweets about DACA, this agreement makes clear that his priorities lie in getting his border wall built, not in protecting immigrant youth, who are once again left out of this must-pass legislation.

“And the truth is that if Trump had had his way, this bill could have been much worse. The unrelenting efforts of advocates and community members fighting alongside our immigrant communities have largely stifled, for now, attempts to further militarize the border and supercharge President Trump’s mass deportation machine.”

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Supreme Court Pushes DACA Back to Lower Courts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2018

CONTACT
Email: media@nilc.org
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149
Hayley Burgess, 202-805-0375

Supreme Court Pushes DACA Back to Lower Courts

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear DHS v. UC Regents, the California case that resulted in an injunction temporarily allowing recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, to submit renewal applications. This pushes this critical issue back to the lower courts, where two circuits have active cases pending. In the meantime, DACA recipients can continue to apply to renew their status.

The Trump administration terminated the DACA program on September 5, 2017, upending the lives of hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth and millions of families and community members. Shortly thereafter, several states and nonprofit organizations filed lawsuits challenging the termination.

 A recording of today’s call is available here.

Marielena Hincapié, Executive Director, National Immigration Law Center:
“The Supreme Court, by denying the Trump administration’s attempt to leapfrog key parts of our judicial system, has rightly allowed our clients and others who brought legal challenges to the termination of DACA to have their day in court. This means that immigrant youth who previously had DACA can continue, for now, to apply for renewals. There is immense urgency for Congress to do the right thing on the Dream Act, and nothing about today’s announcement diminished that. While the injunction helps ensure that immigrant youth can continue to renew their DACA, Dreamers need the certainty that can only come from legislation. We will continue fighting alongside immigrant youth and allies to ensure that Dreamers have a secure future in this country — their home.”

Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General:
“The Trump administration tried to skirt the rule of law. They should look no further in the mirror if they’re concerned why they haven’t had success. This is a win for DACA recipients, a win for California and a win for the rule of law. Two federal courts have already looked closely at the Trump administration’s decision to terminate DACA and correctly concluded that it was unlawful. Our Dreamers are inspiring and as the son of immigrants, I’ve got their back.”

Eliana Fernandez, Plaintiff, Batalla Vidal v. DHS and member of Make the Road New York:
“I’m thrilled with today’s decision. The Department of Justice tried to go around the appeals court to attack our families, and their attempt was rejected. This means that Dreamers like me will be able to continue renewing our DACA, which provides us protection from Trump’s deportation force. As a mother, it means that I can continue to be with my two beautiful children. And I’m going to continue to fight for my family—in the courts, and by demanding a permanent solution in Congress called the Dream Act.”

Andrew Pincus, Partner, Mayer Brown and Supreme Court litigator:
“The Supreme Court today refused to bend its rules for the Trump administration. That means that the two district court injunctions should remain in effect at least for the next several months while the appeals are briefed, argued, and decided in California and New York — and even longer when, as seems likely, the district courts’ well-reasoned decisions are upheld. Although the Department of Justice could ask the courts of appeals or the Supreme Court to stay the injunctions, such a request would almost certainly fail given today’s Supreme Court decision and the irreparable harm to DACA recipients that would result.”

Greisa Martinez, Policy and Advocacy Director, United We Dream:
“Today’s SCOTUS decision means that immigrant young people who have or previously had DACA will be able to renew and that gives our community some relief, but it does not give us permanent protections from the bullies that have been coming after us and our community.

“Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department are the bullies. Their goal is to make sure not one more young immigrant is protected with DACA and to pass a mass deportation plan that must be stopped. That’s what our community is fighting against — attacks on immigrant youth and community members as well as people of color by the anti-immigrant bullies in the Trump administration.

“We are grateful that immigrant young people who have had DACA will have more time to renew. But most immigrant youth are not protected, and we need permanent legislative protection that does not go after our families or communities, like the Dream Act.”

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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.”

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