Category Archives: September 2017

Plaintiffs and Counsel Respond to Supreme Court Canceling Oral Arguments in Muslim Ban Case

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2017

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, NILC: 213-400-7822, media@nilc.org
Henrike Dessaules, IRAP: 646-459-3081, hdessaules@refugeerights.org
Gabe Cahn, HIAS: 202-412-1678, gabe.cahn@hias.org

Plaintiffs and Counsel Respond to Supreme Court Canceling Oral Arguments in Muslim Ban Case

WASHINGTON Today, the Supreme Court removed Trump v. International Refugee Assistance Project from the oral argument calendar. The parties are now required to submit briefs by October 5 to determine the impact of last night’s proclamation amending the previous executive order.

In response to these developments, plaintiffs and counsel in Trump v. IRAP issued the following statements:

Mariko Hirose, litigation director of the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center:
“We vowed to fight the Muslim ban in all of its iterations. The president’s most recent proclamation is merely a continuation of the Muslim ban executive order, and we plan to continue to challenge the government’s discriminatory and unconstitutional policy in any way we can.”

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees and a plaintiff:
“This ban was wrong on January 27, it was wrong on March 6, and it’s wrong now. HIAS and our supporters in the American Jewish community will always oppose the unfair targeting of vulnerable communities because we know from our own history what it’s like to be singled out in the name of national security.”

Beth Baron, president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA):
“We will continue to stand with our fellow plaintiffs in opposition to Muslim ban 3.0. This most recent iteration of the ban continues to harm our student and faculty members by disrupting travel, research, and the free exchange of ideas. It is grounded in unconstitutional discrimination against Muslim Americans and violates our core beliefs.”

Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), co-counsel in the case:
“Our goal from the start has been clear: We will work — inside and outside the courtroom — to make sure there is no Muslim ban ever. We will collaborate with our Muslim community leaders and all the affected communities to make sure our country rejects this hateful and divisive policy.”

Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project:
“This action by the Supreme Court is not surprising given the government’s decision to issue a new version of the ban at the eleventh hour. Both sides will address the implications of that new ban order for the existing case in written submissions to the court. The ban has been repeatedly held unconstitutional and illegal by the courts, and those decisions remain in place today.”

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SUCCEED Act Not a Serious Proposal for Immigrant Youth

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2017

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

Republican SUCCEED Act Not a Serious Proposal for Immigrant Youth

WASHINGTON — Republican senators today announced a new legislative proposal to provide a pathway to citizenship for immigrant youth. The SUCCEED Act, cosponsored by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-NC) and James Lankford (R-OK), would make eligible immigrant youth wait 15 years to become U.S. citizens. It would also force them to forgo due process rights, place conditions on their ability to stay and live in the U.S., and lock them into a prolonged process that would bar them from seeking other forms of immigration relief for which they could become eligible.

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

“We’re glad to see continued growth in bipartisan support for a legislative solution for immigrant youth, but the SUCCEED Act clearly falls short. This bill is not a serious alternative to a clean Dream Act.

“Leaders in Congress should be focused on moving swiftly to provide certainty to immigrant young people whose lives have been upended by President Trump’s cruel decision to end DACA. Placing unnecessary barriers to their full inclusion is a step backward. It’s simply cruel to make immigrant youth choose between a secure future for themselves and being able to remain in the U.S. with their families.”

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NILC Responds to Supreme Court Calendar Change in Trump v. IRAP

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2017

CONTACT
Hayley Burgess, 202-384-1279, media@nilc.org

NILC Responds to Supreme Court Calendar Change in Trump v. IRAP

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court has removed both major legal challenges to President Trump’s Muslim ban from its oral argument calendar, NILC learned today. Oral argument in the cases had been scheduled to take place on October 10.

The Court has ordered all parties in the cases to submit additional briefing in light of yesterday’s announcement from the Trump administration that it has issued yet another ban against several countries, including predominantly Muslim-majority countries. The National Immigration Law Center is co-counsel in Trump v. IRAP and has committed to fighting the Muslim ban in all its permutations every step of the way. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center.

“This new Muslim ban, just like each prior version of it, is morally reprehensible and legally indefensible. Our communities have always known this, and the federal circuit courts of appeal have consistently agreed. Although any delay in justice served is disappointing and will result in tremendous harm to our communities, this latest news is just one step in the larger, multi-faceted fight against the Muslim ban and the Islamophobia that is at the root of these bans. Our goal from the start has been clear: we will work—inside and outside the courtroom—to make sure there is no Muslim ban ever. We will collaborate with our Muslim community leaders and all the affected communities to make sure our country rejects this hateful and divisive policy.

“All those who joined us at the airports, in town halls, and in courtrooms over the last several months should stay engaged. Visit www.nomuslimbanever.com to learn how you can make your voice heard.”

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Civil Rights Groups Condemn Trump’s Latest Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2017

MEDIA CONTACT
Marcos Rodriguez | (559) 920-0534 | mmaciel@skdknick.com
Charlie DiPasquale | (240) 481-6632 | CDiPasquale@skdknick.com

Civil Rights Groups Condemn Trump’s Latest Muslim Ban

Administration expands Muslim ban, making entry into U.S. even more restrictive

SAN FRANCISCO — This evening, the Trump administration announced its new discriminatory Muslim and refugee ban, to include North Korea, Venezuela, and Muslim-majority Chad, and continues to include Iran, Libya, Syria, and Yemen. The degree of immigration restriction varies by individual country, including complete ban. This move by the administration represents an attempt to sanitize a discriminatory and illegal policy before it is reviewed by the Supreme Court on October 10.

In response to the news, Elica Vafaie from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Zahra Billoo from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), and Avideh Moussavian from the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) released the following statements:

Elica Vafaie, staff attorney at Asian Americans Advancing Justice
“This new nonsensical ban continues to discriminate against immigrants, refugees, and visitors from a group of majority Muslim countries. We will continue to stand up for our communities and fight against any attempt at a Muslim ban.”

Zahra Billoo, CAIR representative
“Adding two non–majority Muslim countries doesn’t change the math or the intent of Trump’s new Muslim ban when six out of eight targeted countries are Muslim majority. This policy continues to be xenophobic and unconstitutional.

“We encourage travelers to know their rights and to reach out to our organizations if they have questions or experience any harassment or delays at airports.”

Avideh Moussavian, senior policy attorney, National Immigration Law Center
“Just like a new coat of paint won’t repair a house with dangerous structural problems, this new variation on the ban does nothing to cover up its discriminatory intent against Muslims, nor does it remove the xenophobic core of this executive order. All our communities must stand together more forcefully now than ever before to reject each permutation of this pernicious order.”

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Statement by CAIR, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and NILC Expressing Disappointment with SCOTUS Muslim Ban Stay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 12, 2017

CONTACT
Charlie DiPasquale, 202-464-6916, cdipasquale@skdknick.com

Statement by CAIR, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and NILC Expressing Disappointment with SCOTUS Muslim Ban Stay

SAN FRANCISCO — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would grant a stay of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to allow refugees with formal ties to resettlement agencies to come to the U.S.

Zahra Billoo, a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) representative, Elica Vafaie, a staff attorney at Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus, and Justin Cox, a staff attorney to the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement:

“We are disappointed in the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the latest ruling against the Trump administration’s ban on most refugees, including the 24,000 people who have been working with American refugee resettlement agencies and whose lives hang in the balance. It is our hope that this is a mere procedural step.”

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NILC Applauds Ninth Circuit’s Decision Upholding Injunction on Muslim Ban

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 7, 2017

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

NILC Applauds Ninth Circuit’s Decision Upholding Injunction on Muslim Ban

LOS ANGELES — Following the Ninth Circuit Court’s decision to uphold the Muslim ban injunction, Justin Cox, a staff attorney at the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), issued the following statement:

“This decision by the Ninth Circuit is a step in the right direction and will hopefully help to ensure that discrimination does not become the law of the land in our country. The decision appropriately rejects the Trump administration’s nonsensical contention that even though a mother-in-law is considered ‘close family,’ a grandmother isn’t. And it correctly affirms that the that the Muslim ban cannot be used to bar the entry of refugees who have been formally assured to refugee resettlement agencies.

“The Trump administration has been slow-walking refugee admissions in defiance of federal court injunctions for months. We call on the federal government to honor our historical commitment to refugees and to the rule of law, and to ramp up refugee admissions immediately.”

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Statement on States Lawsuit Challenging Trump Decision to End DACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2017

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

Statement on States Lawsuit Challenging Trump Decision to End DACA

WASHINGTON — Fifteen states and the District of Columbia today sued the Trump administration, challenging the president’s termination of the DACA program. The lawsuit was filed in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) and the plaintiffs include Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the lawsuit today in New York City, where on Tuesday New York Dreamer Martin Batalla Vidal and Make the Road New York (MRNY) filed a new legal action challenging Trump’s termination of DACA. Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at the Yale Law School represent Batalla and MRNY.

In response to today’s announcement, Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement:

“The American people from coast to coast have made their opposition to Trump’s actions clear. Red states and blue states have come together to stand in support of the hundreds of thousands of courageous young immigrants who have DACA and whose futures have now been thrown into terrifying chaos.

“We salute the leaders of these states for taking a stand and fighting back against the administration’s relentless and shameless xenophobia and attacks on our communities, and we count on their leadership as we work together to live up to this country’s ideals of liberty and justice for all.”

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New York Dreamer Challenges Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2017

CONTACTS
Hayley Burgess, National Immigration Law Center, burgess@nilc.org, 202-805-0375
Daniel Altschuler, Make the Road New York, daniel.altschuler@maketheroadny.org, 917-494-5922
David Chen, WIRAC at the Yale Law School, BatallaVidal_LSO@mailman.yale.edu, 908-240-6252

New York Dreamer Challenges Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA

NEW YORK — A young immigrant New Yorker and Make the Road New York (MRNY) went to federal court today to challenge the Trump administration’s termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. In a lawsuit brought in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Martín Batalla Vidal, a DACA recipient, and MRNY are asking permission to amend their original complaint in order to argue that President Trump’s actions violate federal law and the equal protection guarantee of the Constitution.

The case, Batalla Vidal v. Baran, et al, was originally filed on behalf of Batalla Vidal and MRNY in 2016 challenging the court decision in United States v. Texas that blocked Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) and the expansion of DACA from going into effect. Batalla Vidal and MRNY are represented by Make the Road New York, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.

Nearly 800,000 young people now have DACA. They have provided personal and confidential information to the U.S. government and gone through a rigorous application process and background check which has allowed them to receive a two-year work permit and relief from deportation.

In the more than five years since DACA was first implemented, the program has been a resounding success. According to a recent survey, 91 percent of DACA recipients are currently employed, and their average earnings have increased during the time that DACA has been in place.

The benefits of DACA extend beyond the recipients themselves. Nearly three quarters of all DACA recipients have a U.S. citizen spouse, sibling, or child. Terminating the program would create emotional and economic harm for these family members as well.

Batalla Vidal’s family is no different. Batalla Vidal is 26 years old and grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He came to the U.S. from Mexico when he was seven years old. He works in a nursing home and rehabilitation center, and financially supports his mother. He is a member of Make the Road New York.

Martin Batalla Vidal, plaintiff and member of Make the Road New York, said, “DACA has changed my life. It’s allowed me to pursue my dream of continuing my education and supporting my family, with the peace of mind that I won’t be separated from the people I love the most. Losing DACA would have a dramatic impact on my life. It would prevent me from being able to take on major professional or academic goals, make me unable to work legally, and put me at risk of being deported and separated from my family. This decision by Donald Trump is a direct attack on immigrant youth like me and on our families, and it’s based on one thing: the racist beliefs of a president who has been attacking Latinos and Mexicans since the first day of his campaign.”

Members of Make the Road New York, including staff members, as well as nonmember clients, have filed DACA applications that remain outstanding. As an employer, MRNY will lose significant staff resources; a number of employees rely on DACA to be able to work at the organization.

Javier H. Valdes, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, said, “DACA recipients, in addition to being core members of our community and families, have been absolutely central to our organization since 2012. From our work organizing youth and adult members to our legal department to our English classes, DACA recipients have been at the forefront of delivering vital services to our membership and clientele. Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions’ decision today is not only racist and immoral — it also will do serious damage to our organization.”

“The Trump administration’s zeal for anti-immigrant and racist actions continues today, and with more devastating consequences. Terminating DACA betrays the nearly 800,000 young people who have put their faith in the government, throwing their lives into terrifying chaos. Our fight continues on behalf of these brave young people, and together we will work tirelessly to live up to this country’s ideals of justice and dignity for all,” said Mayra Joachin, staff attorney with the National Immigration Law Center.

“The bravery of Mr. Batalla Vidal and of the members of Make the Road New York today reveal that young immigrants will not recede into the shadows as the Trump Administration would like them to do. They are here to stay and will continue fighting today’s callous and unlawful decision to eliminate DACA,” said David Chen, law student intern in the Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic at Yale Law School.

Today’s filing is available at www.nilc.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Batalla-Vidal-v-Baran-PMC-Letter-2017-09-05.pdf.

The recording of today’s conference call regarding this filing is available at www.nilc.org/defenddaca-2017-09-05/.

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NILC Will Fight Alongside Immigrant Youth and Allies

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 5, 2017

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

NILC Will Fight Alongside Immigrant Youth and Allies

WASHINGTON — Today the Trump administration announced the rescission of the transformative DACA program, which for over five years has successfully allowed close to 800,000 immigrant youth to pursue their full potential and contribute more fully to their communities. President Trump decided to end the program despite repeatedly telling immigrant youth not to worry.

The Department of Homeland Security will cut off all new applications immediately. Those whose DACA permits expire between now and March 5, 2018, can apply for a two-year renewal by Oct. 5.

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

“This is a defining moment for our country. We are being called upon to choose which side of history we are on: Are we going to stand with young people who have grown up in our country and are striving to achieve their dreams? Or are we going to allow policymakers to erect barriers that block youth from contributing their best to this country, which is their home?

“President Trump allowed DACA to continue for his first seven months in office. He told young immigrant people that they could ‘rest easy’ and not fear deportation. Now Trump has bowed to his anti-immigrant advisors and base—putting politics above people, hate above reason.

“This is a morally bankrupt choice. Trump’s decision to pull the rug out from under nearly a million young people who are contributing to their communities across the country will only serve to destabilize these young people, their families, and their communities.

“DACA applicants relied on a promise by the federal government to allow them to live and work without fear of being deported if they came forward, paid a fee, passed a background check, and were deemed eligible after meeting certain requirements. The National Immigration Law Center will vigorously defend their rights—in the courtroom, if necessary—should the government renege on that promise.

“We call on educators, faith leaders, businesses, labor unions, health professionals, and all people of good conscience—regardless of political party affiliation—to stand on the right side of history and by the side of immigrant youth and their families. We must do everything in our reach to ensure they are safe, empowered, and can continue to thrive.

“Though we are heartbroken and enraged, it is crucial in this moment to recall the tremendous organizing power and energy that won DACA in the first place. Now, more than ever, we must all stand up and fight alongside immigrant youth who are fighting to maintain their livelihoods and their sense of security and belonging in this country. DACA is only the beginning of what we can do.

“We urge all members of Congress to swiftly pass the bipartisan Dream Act 2017. However, we are steadfast in our commitment to advancing the rights of all low-income immigrants and will not accept any bill that aims to further militarize border communities, ramps up Trump’s mass deportation force, or diminishes workers’ rights. The lives of immigrant youth are not a bargaining chip.”

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