Category Archives: September 2012

California Governor Vetoes Bills

September 30, 2012

Adela de la Torre: 213-400-7822; [email protected]

Governor of California Fails to Enact Sound, Inclusive Policy

SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Governor Jerry Brown ended California’s legislative session by vetoing two major bills designed to improve public safety and guarantee basic labor protections for domestic workers. The TRUST Act, sponsored by Rep. Tom Ammiano, would have restored public trust in law enforcement by ensuring that immigrants who do not pose a threat to public safety do not fear that they will be placed in federal deportation proceedings as a result of an encounter with the local police. The Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, also sponsored by Ammiano, would have made California the second state in the United States to codify the basic labor rights of domestic workers, a population long excluded from basic labor regulations.

“By failing to sign the TRUST Act, Governor Brown signaled that he cares more about deportation quotas established 3,000 miles away in Washington, D.C., than about the safety of our communities and the unity of our families,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “The TRUST Act, which won widespread support from communities of faith, and labor, as well as endorsements from key law enforcement leaders, would have represented a firm and positive step toward an inclusive policy and away from a draconian deportation state like Arizona. Governor Brown had an opportunity to support the communities that had faith in him, and show the country that a more inclusive legislative path is possible. Unfortunately, Brown squandered that opportunity tonight.”

“The governor also showed that he couldn’t follow in another state’s positive footsteps this evening by failing to sign into law the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights. This bill would have allowed workers who take care of our families, children, and homes to have the same basic protections the rest of us consider essential for a fair and just workplace. A similar bill was signed into law last year in New York, and those of us who believe that all people should count on basic workplace rights had hoped that California would follow New York’s lead. Unfortunately, despite widespread support in both chambers of the California legislature, as well as support from so many sectors of society, Governor Brown failed to allow this common-sense piece of legislation to become law.”

“One need not look further back than the mid ‘90s to know that California’s immigrant voters will be stronger, not weaker, as a result of this setback. Courageous domestic workers, immigrants, and allies showed their leadership in launching impressive advocacy campaigns promoting these two visionary bills.  Governor Brown should remember that failure to stand up for the communities of color that compose a growing portion of California’s population today can and will lead to a negative result at the ballot box in the future.”

Earlier this week, Brown did sign into law AB 1899, which provides continued access to in-state tuition, scholarships, fee waivers and financial aid to otherwise eligible crime survivors who are granted a T or U status.  Prior to this law, survivors who cooperated with law enforcement and obtained one of these statuses, became ineligible for in-state tuition and other assistance that is available to other California college students regardless of their status. This legislation, which corrects this inadvertent gap in the law, was supported by anti-trafficking and anti-domestic violence advocates, law enforcement, higher education institutions, students, immigrant rights and civil rights groups, received unanimous support throughout the legislative process.

Added Hincapié, “While we were pleased to see that legislation to improve access to education for immigrant communities was signed into law, Brown should have shown similar leadership in other areas affecting the daily lives of Californian workers and community members. This deep disappointment will not be soon forgotten.

“Immigrant communities across the state will now organize to ensure that their local jurisdictions adopt policies that protect their communities from the harsh immigration enforcement practices that are separating families and devastating communities. Ultimately, change is needed at the federal level.  The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency must stop wreaking havoc on 400,000 families across the country each year, take the administrative steps necessary to stop deporting vibrant members of our communities, and start working toward creating an immigration system that allows aspiring Americans to continue contributing their best to our country.”

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Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: First Approvals

September 14, 2012

Adela del la Torre, 213-674-2832, [email protected]

After More Than a Decade, Dreams Are Coming True

First Approvals for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Granted

WASHINGTON — U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released more information about the number of people who have applied for, and received, deferred action under the newly created Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. This program, which was launched on August 15, provides work authorization and relief from deportation to immigrant youth who arrived in the United States as children and are advancing their education. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center:

“After more than ten years of advocacy and efforts, almost three dozen immigrant youth finally have the documentation they need to contribute more fully to their communities and economies. The DACA approval process is evidence of government at its best: DREAMers who have provided complete applications have been notified of subsequent steps in their application processes in a timely fashion. Newly revised guidelines by USCIS have helped clarify certain issues, and we expect to see approval numbers grow in the near future. Over the next few weeks and months, the National Immigration Law Center will work with thousands of DREAMers to ensure that the number of immigrant youth applying for this program grows exponentially.”


Valle del Sol v. Whiting: Appeal to 9th Circuit

September 14, 2012

Adela de la Torre, National Immigration Law Center, (213) 674-2832; [email protected]
Steve Gosset, ACLU national, 212-549-2666; [email protected]
Laura Rodríguez, MALDEF, 310-956-2425; [email protected]

Appeals Court Asked to Block Show-Me-Your-Papers Provision of Arizona Anti-Immigrant Law

Civil Rights Groups Say Substantial Claims about Most Notorious Section of SB 1070 Must Be Resolved

SAN FRANCISCO – A coalition of civil rights groups has appealed a federal district court decision that would allow the most notorious portion of Arizona’s anti-immigrant law to go into effect.

The appeal, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was filed eight days after U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton denied a request to block the “show-me-your-papers” provision of the Arizona law, SB 1070, from going into effect later this month. The coalition today asked the Ninth Circuit to suspend the provision for the duration of its appeal.

The provision requires police to verify the citizenship or immigration status of people arrested, stopped, or detained if there is a reasonable suspicion that they are in the country unlawfully. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that three other key provisions of SB 1070 are unconstitutional, but declined to block section 2(B), the show-me-your-papers provision. Several other parts of SB 1070 are blocked by separate injunctions issued by the district court.

“Section 2(B) of SB 1070 threatens fundamental rights of Latinos and other people of color in Arizona,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center. “We are committed to fighting this law until it is permanently stricken. We look forward to finally having our civil rights claims addressed in court.”

“The plaintiffs in this case have raised substantial claims against section 2(B), and the courts should not allow the provision to go into effect without even considering those claims, which is what will happen if the court of appeals denies the request we are filing today,” said Omar Jadwat, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “As the history of this litigation shows, we are determined to fight SB 1070 and continue to work to preserve all Arizonans’ rights to be free from harassment and profiling.”

“The very high likelihood of irreparable harm from any implementation of a law that effectively mandates improper racial profiling by law enforcement officers, who are required to engage in immigration enforcement for which they are not trained, imperils the taking of all possible steps in court to bar such implementation,” said Thomas Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF.

The coalition includes the ACLU, the ACLU of Arizona, NILC, MALDEF, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and the Asian American Justice Center, both members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice, as well as the NAACP.  The law firms of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, Altshuler Berzon LLP, and Daniel Ortega are also acting as co-counsel in the case.

The coalition’s emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal is available

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Arizona’s SB 1070: Court Blocks Another Provision

September 5, 2012

Adela de la Torre, 213-674-2832, [email protected]

Federal Court Blocks Part of Arizona’s Anti-Immigrant Law; Allows “Show Me Your Papers” Provision to Stand

Civil Rights Coalition Will Continue to Fight Against Racial Profiling Law

PHOENIX – A federal district court today blocked a provision in Arizona’s anti-immigrant law that aimed to criminalize friends and family members who engage in everyday activities with undocumented immigrants, but failed to block section 2(B) of SB 1070, which forces police officers to demand “papers” of those they believe are in the country unlawfully. Civil rights groups challenging SB 1070 contend that section 2(B) encourages racial profiling, mandates illegal detention, and betrays American values.

“Today’s ruling will lead to rampant racial profiling of Latinos and others who might be ‘suspected’ of being in Arizona without authorization. This isn’t just a blow to our plaintiffs, but also a step back from our core values of equality under the law. We are committed to continuing the fight against this law in our case until it is permanently struck down,” said Linton Joaquin, general counsel of the National Immigration Law Center.

The “show me your papers” section of the law will not take effect until further order from the court, which will not happen immediately. The provision blocked today by the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona aimed to create criminal penalties for individuals who drive or live with an immigrant who lacks authorization to live in the country. Similar provisions found in anti-immigrant laws in Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina have been blocked by courts at the district and appellate levels.

“After today, regrettably, Latinos will face civil rights violations across Arizona because the court failed to recognize that the ‘show me your papers’ law will subject Latinos to illegal arrests and racial profiling,” said Victor Viramontes, MALDEF national senior counsel. “We will closely monitor the state’s attempts to implement this deeply flawed law.”

“The district court was correct in blocking Arizona’s harboring statute, which criminalized many everyday interactions with unauthorized immigrants,” said Cecillia Wang, director of the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “Unfortunately, the district court’s ruling let the ‘show me your papers’ law stand, despite significant new evidence that it was passed with a discriminatory motive and will result in illegal detentions. The ruling puts an enormous burden on the countless Arizona residents who will be victims of racial profiling and illegal detentions because of this law. We remain committed to fighting what is left of SB 1070 and defending the rights of all Arizonans to be free from this unjust law.”

The decision is the latest legal move in Valle del Sol v. Whiting, a class action legal challenge to SB 1070 that was filed in May 2010. This challenge, which was brought by a coalition of civil rights organizations, includes civil rights claims against Arizona’s racial profiling law that were not raised in the U.S. Supreme Court case over SB 1070 brought by the federal government. Plaintiffs include Jim Shee, an Arizona-born citizen of Spanish and Chinese descent who was racially profiled.

“While today’s ruling puts civil rights at risk, it does nothing to undermine our resolve to continue fighting until SB 1070 is struck down in its entirety,” said Chris Newman, legal director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

The coalition includes the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU); the ACLU of Arizona; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF); the National Immigration Law Center (NILC); the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON); the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC) and the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), both members of the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice; and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Law firms Roush McCracken Guerrero and Miller and Ortega, as well as  Munger, Tolles and Olson and Altshuler Berzon LLP provided support.

A copy of the order is available here: