Category Archives: September 2015

NILC Lauds Bill by Illinois Rep. Gutiérrez to Expand Access to Obamacare Regardless of Immigration Status

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 30, 2015

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc.org
Victoria Johnson, johnson@nilc.org

NILC Lauds Bill by Illinois Rep. Gutiérrez to Expand Access to Obamacare Regardless of Immigration Status

WASHINGTON — A bill introduced today by Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez that would give undocumented immigrants full access to Affordable Care Act (ACA) benefits is good for our nation’s health and economic security, according to the National Immigration Law Center.

The proposed measure, the Exchange Inclusion for a Healthy America Act of 2015, would lift ACA restrictions that now prevent undocumented taxpayers from buying health insurance through ACA marketplaces and keep them from qualifying for health care subsidies.

The bill also clarifies that deferred action recipients will be treated as lawfully present, without distinction, and restores their eligibility to buy health coverage and obtain health coverage subsidies under the ACA. Currently, immigrants who qualify for the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) are not allowed to buy health insurance under the ACA, even though they are considered lawfully present under immigration law.

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement after Rep. Gutiérrez introduced the House bill:

“Allowing everyone to access the Marketplace is not only smart economic policy, but it is also good for our families and communities. Congressman Gutiérrez’s bill is a critical step toward achieving affordable health care for the remaining uninsured and furthers the underlying promise of the ACA: access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans.

“Access to health care is a civil and human right that no one should be denied. Illnesses do not discriminate and neither should our laws. We should all be able to get the health care we need when we need it, and this includes all immigrant families. The future prosperity of our country depends on healthy families who can contribute to our communities and our economy. This legislation is an important acknowledgment of that fact.”

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National Immigration Law Center Reacts to News that Speaker Boehner Will Step Down

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2015

CONTACT
Gebe Martinez, gebe.gmnetworking@gmail.com

National Immigration Law Center Reacts to News that Speaker Boehner Will Step Down

WASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner announced on Friday that he will resign from the speakership and give up his congressional seat at the end of October. The following is a statement by Marielena Hincapié, executive director of National Immigration Law Center:

“Speaker Boehner’s resignation is the culmination of the strife within his party over how to be less caring of immigrants, of women, working families, of the poor, and of those most in need.

“Yesterday, Pope Francis urged Congress to legislate in a just and humane manner. Today, we unfortunately are witnessing the political reality under a conservative-controlled Congress.

“Looking back, it is truly a shame that Speaker Boehner was unable to lead the House to a floor vote on the 2013 Senate-passed immigration reform bill, S. 744, which had support of the House majority but was blocked by conservatives. The result is a leadership crisis on Capitol Hill.

“The immigrants’ rights community will be watching the legislative process very carefully, particularly in coming weeks, as Congress negotiates legislation to continue funding the government. Those bills are where attacks against immigrants and the poor are often slipped in. We urge the next Speaker to be prepared to legislate and not continue to allow Congress and the nation to be held hostage by a small minority of extreme conservatives that are out of touch with what is in the country’s best interests.”

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Pope’s Visit Can Steer National Dialogue on Immigration

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2015

CONTACT
Elizabeth Beresford, elizabeth@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 917-648-0189
Alec Saslow, nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 720-319-4948

Pope’s Visit Can Steer National Dialogue on Immigration

WASHINGTON — In light of Pope Francis’s historic visit to the United States this week, during which he plans to meet with immigrants and address a joint session of Congress, National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié issued the following statement:

“It is both humbling and validating that Pope Francis has made the fair and humane treatment of migrants, as well as economic justice, principal themes of his papacy. With the spotlight on the Pope’s every move this week, we’re hopeful that his public comments and individual visits with immigrants can help steer our national dialogue towards the moral imperative of treating every human being with dignity, justice, and respect.

“While we hope that Pope Francis’s vision will inspire change, his words alone will not solve the problems facing low-income immigrants in the United States today. They will not fix our broken immigration system and they will not bring resolution to the families who have already been separated and the millions more who live in constant fear.

“Those problems require concrete action from lawmakers, some of whom have used their powers to marginalize and demonize immigrants rather than to consider including them as community members. We urge all policymakers and presidential candidates to follow Pope Francis’s leadership and call for compassion so that immigrants are treated fairly and with dignity for the good of our society.”

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To speak with Marielena Hincapié about the Pope’s visit to the United States and implications for immigrant communities, please contact nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

 

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National Immigration Law Center Denounces L.A. County Sheriff’s Immigration Enforcement Plan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2015

CONTACT
Alec Saslow, nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 720-319-4948
Nery Espinosa, nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 214-263-1294

National Immigration Law Center Denounces L.A. County Sheriff’s Immigration Enforcement Plan

LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County sheriff announced Tuesday his newest plan to further entangle the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) harsh deportation policies. The sheriff’s proposal would allow ICE full access into the jails despite a May 2015 Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors vote to close ICE’s permanent office inside the jail. By exceeding the current limitations and parameters of the new federal Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), this proposal invites even more racial profiling and would funnel more members of Southern California families through ICE’s deportation pipeline.

Shiu-Ming Cheer, an attorney with the National Immigration Law Center, said the following in response to the sheriff’s announcement:

“The L.A. County sheriff’s proposed policies are poised to further undermine years of community trust built between the immigrant community and local law enforcement. Not only has the Sheriff’s Department fully endorsed the flawed Priority Enforcement Program, it has in fact doubled down and far exceeded the policies and practices put forth in PEP.

“California has been a national leader on implementing commonsense policies that strike a thoughtful balance between protecting community trust and ensuring public safety. On the same day that San Francisco Supervisor David Campos announced plans to introduce a resolution calling on the San Francisco sheriff to refuse cooperation with ICE’s Priority Enforcement Program, L.A. County is promoting reactionary policies that criminalize our communities and jeopardize basic due process protections.”

In addition to its concerns about the lack of transparency and confusion around the rollout of PEP, the National Immigration Law Center also is concerned about these other provisions of the L.A. County sheriff’s proposal:

  • allowing ICE full access to jails and databases so it can conduct investigations and interviews of people who may be removable;
  • refusing to limit who ICE can interview based on how old their prior convictions are, so that even decades-old convictions would trigger an ICE interview; and
  • failing to require that everyone who is interviewed by ICE knowingly and voluntarily consents to the interview by signing an advisal-of-rights form before he or she is made available to ICE.

More than 300 jurisdictions nationwide have either seriously limited or outright rejected local law enforcement entanglement with ICE. Law enforcement authorities and community members consistently say that such cooperation results in damaging community members’ confidence and trust in local authorities, wasting already scarce resources, and devastating families and communities.

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National Immigration Law Center Denounces Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric at Second GOP Debate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2015

CONTACT
Andrea Alford, nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 703-477-1075
Nery Espinosa, nilc@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 214-263-1294

National Immigration Law Center Denounces Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric at Second GOP Debate

SIMI VALLEY, CA – The second Republican presidential debate tonight once again showcased the party’s commitment to extremist positions on immigration in the United States.

The following is a statement by National Immigration Law Center Executive Director Marielena Hincapié:

“The recent increase in anti-immigrant rhetoric from the GOP candidates was on full display tonight. It’s clear that we no longer just have a Donald Trump problem — rather, the entire Republican Party is responsible for pedaling policies and positions that criminalize and scapegoat America’s immigrant families.

“The anti-immigrant rhetoric from these GOP candidates belies the very principles our democracy was founded on. It also encourages dangerous behavior and hate crimes towards new Americans. Tonight, the candidates showed the country that their vision is short-sighted and threatens to undermine the progress we’ve made as a nation of immigrants.”

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Obama Administration Terminates 430K Health Care Plans, Citing Unresolved Immigration Status and Citizenship Inconsistencies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 9, 2015

CONTACT
Andrea Alford, andrea@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 703-477-1075
Nery Espinosa, nery@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 214-263-1294

Obama Administration Terminates 430K Health Care Plans, Citing Unresolved Immigration Status and Citizenship Inconsistencies

National Immigration Law Center demands HHS fix immigration status and citizenship verification process

WASHINGTON —The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced yesterday that, this year alone, 430,000 individuals who shopped for health insurance in the federal Obamacare Marketplace were stripped of their health care plans due to unresolved immigration status or citizenship inconsistencies. Last year, HHS terminated approximately 212,000 Marketplace plans for the same reason. Since then, immigrants’ rights and health care groups have been asking HHS for more detailed information and data related to these types of data-matching problems but have yet to receive a satisfactory response from the Obama administration.

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

“With the third year of open enrollment for Obamacare around the corner, there is absolutely no excuse for any eligible American family to be denied or lose their health care coverage as a result of HHS’s ongoing systemic failings. The majority of these immigrants attempted, often repeatedly, to submit the appropriate documentation needed to resolve the inconsistencies but faced barriers such as not being notified about what they needed to submit in a language they could understand. As a result, thousands of immigrants who depend on these plans for their health and wellbeing have lost their plans for avoidable reasons that have not been adequately addressed by HHS.

“For more than a year we have been working tirelessly to secure information about the agency’s verification process, and have yet to receive a satisfactory response from either HHS or the Obama administration. It is unacceptable that HHS has failed to address a flawed system that keeps too many eligible immigrants and their families from accessing the care they deserve and rely on. The problem must be addressed and rectified immediately so that immigrant mothers, fathers, and workers can get the health care they need.”

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National Immigration Law Center Announces Exciting New Staff Changes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 1, 2015

CONTACT
Elizabeth Beresford, elizabeth@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 917-648-0189
Andrea Alford, andrea@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 703-477-1075
Nery Espinosa (Spanish language), nery@fitzgibbonmedia.com, 214-263-1294

National Immigration Law Center Announces Exciting New Staff Changes

Karen Tumlin promoted to Legal Director;
Marisa Aguayo elevated to Development Director

LOS ANGELES — The National Immigration Law Center has announced two new staff changes. Effective today, Karen Tumlin has been promoted to Legal Director and will oversee the organization’s impact litigation. Karen formerly served as Managing Attorney in the organization’s Los Angeles office, litigating cases across the country on the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. Marisa Aguayo, formally NILC’s Development Manager, will now oversee the organization’s development initiatives as Development Director. She is also based out of the Los Angeles office.

“We’re excited to announce two new leadership positions at the National Immigration Law Center,” said Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center. “I can say with absolute confidence, as a result of Karen Tumlin and Marisa Aguayo’s combined 20-plus years of working with NILC, that our organization and movement will be strengthened with them in these critical leadership positions. These two women inspire me every day with their skill and tireless dedication to defending and advocating for the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. These promotions serve as a recognition of the outstanding work they’ve carried out to advance our mission.”

Karen Tumlin focuses on promoting the rights of low-income immigrants through litigation and related advocacy. She has successfully litigated numerous cases of national importance, including the constitutional challenge to Arizona’s notorious anti-immigrant SB 1070 law and has testified before the U.S. Congress on immigrants’ rights issues. Her primary responsibility is leading NILC’s legal department.

Karen joined the National Immigration Law Center in 2005 as a Skadden Fellow. Before that she clerked for Judge Dorothy W. Nelson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Prior to law school she worked as a research associate at the Urban Institute, where she co-authored studies on immigration, welfare, and language access issues. She also spent a year as a Luce Scholar in Bangkok, Thailand, where she conducted a study on child trafficking in the region for the U.N. International Labor Organization. Karen holds a juris doctor degree and a master of public policy from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall). She has also served as an adjunct professor at the Loyola Law School.

Marisa Aguayo joined NILC in 2004. During her tenure, she has managed an expanding grants portfolio, initiated an annual awards dinner event, and helped grow the organization’s individual donor base. In her new role, she will manage NILC’s overall fundraising efforts and play a leadership role in developing and overseeing the implementation of annual fundraising plans and strategies that ensure NILC’s long-term sustainability. Previously, Marisa worked as a program director for the MultiCultural Collaborative, a social justice organization created after Los Angeles’ 1992 civil unrest. Prior to that she was a development associate for El Rescate, a legal and social services agency serving immigrants in Los Angeles.

Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center is the only advocacy organization in the United States exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their families. NILC advances its mission through policy analysis and litigation, along with education and advocacy. Over the past three decades, NILC has won landmark legal decisions protecting fundamental rights, thwarted harmful policies, and advanced major initiatives that reinforce our nation’s values of equality, opportunity, and justice for all.

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