Category Archives: News Releases

Senate Deal Leaves Dreamers Out in the Cold

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2018

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

Senate Deal Leaves Dreamers Out in the Cold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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USA Act Represents Commonsense Approach Toward Immigration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 5, 2018

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

USA Act Represents Commonsense Approach Toward Immigration

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

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

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

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

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

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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NILC Responds to White House Immigration Proposal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 25, 2018

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

NILC Responds to White House Immigration Proposal

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

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

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

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

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It’s About People, Not Politics: Today’s vote won’t solve the problem unless it’s paired with action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 22, 2018

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

It’s About People, Not Politics

Today’s vote won’t solve the problem unless it’s paired with action

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators today voted to approve a continuing resolution to fund the federal government for another three weeks. The House of Representatives is expected to take up the measure shortly. This legislation includes a measure to fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years, and a commitment from Senate leadership to bring immigration measures to a vote in the near future.

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

“On Friday night, senators on both sides of the aisle took a stand against Trump’s divisive, xenophobic agenda and made a bold call for the Senate to do its job.

“This display of resolve was short-lived. Today, although the government is reopening, senators have done nothing to address the Trump-created crisis that leaves hundreds of thousands of immigrant youth at imminent threat of deportation.

“Those who voted in favor of a continuing resolution based on the promise of a future immigration vote put their faith in the hands of those who have proven themselves unreliable in the past. The Trump agenda, which Speaker Ryan and Majority Leader McConnell have doggedly enacted, is built on misdirection and xenophobia, not forthrightness and compromise.

“Our communities need more than bold gestures and empty promises. We need action right now. It’s not enough to say pro-Dreamer things and issue strong statements. We need a legislative solution that addresses our real needs, without using this crisis as an opportunity to ram through a white nationalist wish list.

“Republicans are being disingenuous when they ask for more time to discuss this. The Dream Act has been discussed for nearly two decades. We know. We were there when it was first introduced by Senator Durbin in 2001. We — along with our communities — put faith in Senate proceedings, only to see those sound policy proposals die in the legislative graveyard of the House of Representatives. A solution for immigrant youth should have been reached 16 years ago. Our elected officials should be done talking.

“The fight is more urgent now than ever before. We remain as committed as ever to continue to fight alongside our communities — both in the halls of Congress and in the courts — to defend immigrant youth and their families.”

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Supreme Court to Take Muslim Ban Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 19, 2018

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

Supreme Court to Take Muslim Ban Case

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will hear oral argument on Hawaii v. Trump, a legal challenge to one of the latest iterations of President Trump’s Muslim ban. This executive order, first issued in September 2017, indefinitely bans people from six Muslim-majority countries from coming to the United States. The Supreme Court recently stayed earlier preliminary injunctions partially blocking the ban, allowing it to go into full effect. The New York Times has recently covered the devastation and ongoing family separation caused by the ban.

In response to this announcement, Karen Tumlin, legal director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The Muslim ban is not merely a looming threat, but a heartless and unlawful order that has already torn families apart and thrown lives into chaos. Since the ban was announced one year ago, it has succeeded in slamming the door on Muslims and refugees seeking reunification with their loved ones.

“As the lower courts have proved time and again, this Muslim ban is not only hateful and incredibly damaging, but also unlawful. This administration’s ruthless attacks on immigrant and refugee communities are unconstitutional and stand in stark contrast to our nation’s values of inclusivity and religious freedom.

“This is a pivotal time in our nation’s history, when we are called upon as a nation to decide whether we truly live by our ideals, or merely carve them into our monuments. We continue to stand proudly with our plaintiffs, refugees, and the American Muslim community and will fight in the courtroom, in the halls of Congress, and alongside our communities until there is no Muslim ban ever.”

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House Kicks the Can Down the Road, Fails the Country

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2018

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

House Republicans Kick the Can Down the Road, Fail the Country

WASHINGTON — Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today approved a short-term resolution to keep the government funded and running for four more weeks. Existing funding expires Friday. The House-approved bill does not include language to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers or an adequate reauthorization of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), despite overwhelming support for such measures from all sectors of civic life and several bipartisan legislative proposals presented this week. The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate.

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

“House Republicans again have failed to address our nation’s most pressing issues. Yet another partisan vote on a short-term funding agreement demonstrates how Republican leadership’s dysfunction is preventing the country from arriving at real solutions. Their basic failure to legislate is undercutting even their own stated priorities and leading the country down the path to a government shutdown.

“This bill does not provide adequate solutions. And it insidiously pits vulnerable populations against each other. Decent lawmakers and our communities must make it clear that we are united and committed to doing better. It’s time to stop with the political games. We urge the Senate to reject this failure and put forward real solutions. We cannot continue to prolong the precarious situation facing Dreamers.”

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NILC Responds to Introduction of Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2018

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

DACA Crisis Requires a Narrow and Permanent Bipartisan Fix Now

NILC responds to introduction of Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act

WASHINGTON — Reps. Will Hurd (R-TX) and Pete Aguilar (D-CA) today introduced new bipartisan legislation to provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers. The bill would provide relief for immigrant youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors and allocate additional resources toward the border and other enforcement.

The bill introduction comes as Congress faces a Friday deadline to approve funding to keep the federal government running.

More than 16,000 recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, have lost protections since the Trump administration terminated the program in September.

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

“For months, lawmakers and the American public have engaged in a conversation about resolving the urgent crisis created when President Trump terminated DACA. More than 80 percent of America agrees that Dreamers should have the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, and that we can’t keep immigrant youth and their families in their current precarious state any longer.

“Representatives Hurd and Aguilar have found a narrow, bipartisan solution that helps solve the problem we’re facing, a problem created by President Trump’s termination of the DACA program. The USA Act is a serious effort to address the concerns on both sides of the political aisle, a rare feat in the current political climate.

“However, this bill is not without flaws. While it does not include funding for an ineffective border wall, it does fail to recognize that what’s best for the border region is accountability, investment, and infrastructure, not more military tactics and drones. Border communities are dynamic and vibrant. They need commerce, not militarization at taxpayer expense.”

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Trump’s Racism Rears Its Ugly Head as Bipartisan Senate Group Proposes Principles of a DACA Deal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2018

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

Trump’s Racism Rears Its Ugly Head as Bipartisan Senate Group Proposes Principles of a DACA Deal

WASHINGTON — News media reported today that President Trump used racist comments aimed at people from African and Caribbean countries during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss a bipartisan proposal on immigration.

The reports came after a bipartisan group of senators announced that they have reached an agreement in principle on an immigration proposal that would include the Dream Act, along with border enforcement and other changes to the immigration system.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers from both chambers of Congress met with President Trump earlier this week to discuss a way toward a solution. At the meeting, everyone in the room seemed to agree on the urgency to pass a permanent legislative solution for immigrant youth, without getting bogged down in a broad conversation about immigration.

Trump created a crisis when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program.

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

“President Trump’s repugnant statement today should remove any shred of doubt that his motivations behind DACA negotiations are blatantly racist. This is not a president who respects the dignity of people of color, and as Americans we must do everything in our power to resist this administration’s white supremacist agenda. Presidents are elected to represent all residents of this great country, and these painful comments stain the presidency. This is a disgraceful moment, one in which we must all stand up and say that the president does not speak for us.

“Words matter, especially when they are spoken by policymakers at the helm of our government. His words can embolden others to engage in hate crimes and hate speech. Those who have stood in lockstep with President Trump through these negotiations have a choice. It’s not enough to reject these repugnant remarks while advancing this administration’s agenda. Republicans, in particular, have an opportunity to denounce Trump’s comments and this administration’s white nationalist agenda. Racism has no place in our society, and all eyes are now on Congress to show which side of history they choose to be on.

Jonathan Jayes-Green, cofounder and director of UndocuBlack a national network of Black undocumented people, said:

“Haiti and the African countries Trump calls ‘shithole’ countries possess more dignity and strength than he will ever be able to comprehend in his lifetime. His comments today reflect his deeply rotten and racist soul and his intent to carry out a white supremacist agenda to make America white again. In case it wasn’t clear, this is what racism looks like, and we as Black immigrants know it all too well. This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that Trump blatantly disregards people of African descent. Congress, you have a choice to make: Either side with this racist agenda or protect immigrant communities now.”

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Anti-Immigrant Goodlatte Bill Is Not a Serious Proposal for Dreamers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 10, 2018

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

Anti-Immigrant Goodlatte Bill Is Not a Serious Proposal for Dreamers

WASHINGTON — A group of Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a new bill to that would provide inadequate relief for some immigrant youth who arrived in the U.S. as minors. The bill, cosponsored by Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Michael McCaul (R-TX), Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Martha McSally (R-AZ), calls for extreme border militarization and enforcement, along with sweeping changes to portions of the immigration system. It would not provide a pathway to U.S. citizenship.

President Trump created a crisis when he ended Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in September, upending the lives of nearly 800,000 young people covered by the program.

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

“This bill fails to take into account that a vast majority of Americans, lawmakers, and the president himself agree that Dreamers should have a pathway to citizenship — and not at the expense of sweeping draconian policies aimed at terrorizing Dreamers’ parents, siblings, and loved ones.

“The same lawmakers behind this proposal were at a White House meeting yesterday at which everyone seemed to agree that the way toward finding a solution for immigrant youth was to narrow the conversation. This proposal does the opposite, seeking instead to tack on more elements of a white nationalist wish list to derail months of progress.

“The Securing America’s Future Act is nothing more than a thinly veiled poison pill, and it should be dismissed as such. We’ve been clear that the lives of immigrant youth are not bargaining chips.

“What we need is a permanent legislative fix that resolves the Trump-created DACA crisis once and for all. The solution is the bipartisan Dream Act.”

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