Category Archives: September 2021

NILC and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund Statement on Appointment of David Neal as Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2021

CONTACT
Madison Allman, [email protected], 202-384-1279

NILC and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund Statement on Appointment of David Neal as Director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement on the appointment of David Neal as Director for the Executive Office for Immigration Review at the Department of Justice:

“After years of active sabotage and neglect under the previous administration, it is critical that the next director of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) be someone who leads with integrity, believes in due process for immigrants, and shares a commitment to building a 21st century immigration system.

“David Neal, President Biden’s nominee to head EOIR, faces the difficult task of not only repairing the damage done in the past, but also rebuilding trust with stakeholders who are justifiably concerned by the insufficient pace of change and the enactment of new barriers to justice – particularly the new accelerated docket for families seeking protection. Mr. Neal is a longtime, respected career public servant with deep knowledge of the office he’s been appointed to lead. We expect that he has learned from failed policies of the past and will work to create a more fair, more just immigration court system.

“At this important moment, we are committed to working with Mr. Neal and are hopeful he and EOIR under his leadership will be partners in making the bold changes President Biden promised to enact.”

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NILC Statement on Escalation of Deportations to Haiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 21, 2021

CONTACT
Madison Allman, [email protected], 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on Escalation of Deportations to Haiti

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement on the escalation of Haitian deportations at the U.S.-Mexico border in Del Rio, Texas:

“Seeking asylum is a fundamental human and legal right. Yet thousands of Haitians who survived devastating natural disasters and political violence are being dehumanized, denied due process, and violently and forcibly returned to the very conditions they fled. This is legally and morally unacceptable. 

“President Biden was elected on a campaign promise to undo the harm of four years under the Trump administration, which decimated the systems set up to protect people seeking safety. Instead of striving to keep that promise, the Biden administration has instead doubled down on a failed and inhumane strategy of deterrence and exacerbated the harm to vulnerable communities. 

“We urge the Biden administration to immediately stop all deportations to Haiti and end all policies that deprive people of their rights at the border. The administration must chart a different course to welcome those seeking safety with dignity and humanity.” 

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NILC Statement on the Senate Parliamentarian’s Ruling to Exclude a Pathway to Citizenship from Budget Reconciliation Package

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 19, 2021

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, [email protected], 213-375-3149

NILC Statement on the Senate Parliamentarian’s Ruling to Exclude a Pathway to Citizenship from Budget Reconciliation Package

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center and the NILC Immigrant Justice Fund, issued the following statement on today’s ruling by the Senate parliamentarian:

“Voters rejected the divisive anti-immigrant agenda of the last administration and gave Democrats a trifecta. We expect our elected leaders to make good on their promises to fight for a pathway to citizenship. No one elected the Senate parliamentarian, and we are encouraged that Senate Democratic leadership is exploring every mechanism available to deliver a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants. The stakes for our country are so high that if these efforts are unsuccessful, Democrats must take the steps necessary to negate the parliamentarian’s ruling. Simply giving up is not an option.

“While today’s ruling is a temporary setback, we will continue the fight for a pathway to citizenship until all immigrants are recognized as essential to our country so that we all have the freedom to thrive.”

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NILC Statement on Biden’s “Status Update” on Remain in Mexico Policy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 16, 2021

CONTACT
Madison Allman, [email protected], 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on the Biden’s “Status Update” on Remain in Mexico Policy 

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement in response to the Biden administration’s U.S. district court filing about its “good faith” efforts to resume the Remain in Mexico policy: “By failing to take immediate, concrete steps to terminate the Remain in Mexico policy, the administration has not lived up to President Biden’s promise to restore full access to asylum and build a 21st century immigration system that values our collective humanity and dignity.

“The Remain in Mexico policy was a centerpiece of Donald Trump’s cruel, anti-immigrant agenda and put thousands of people seeking safety in grave danger. Choosing any course short of terminating this unlawful policy would be a capitulation to an emerging conservative political playbook being used to imperil President Biden’s entire progressive agenda.

“This is a key moment for President Biden to lead with conviction, issue a new termination memo, and restart asylum processing at the southern border. There is no room for Remain in Mexico — or any policy like it — in a country that strives to be a beacon of hope for those seeking safety and freedom.”

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Marielena Hincapié to Leave National Immigration Law Center in June 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2021 

CONTACT
Will Dempster, [email protected], (908) 413-0153

Marielena Hincapié to Leave National Immigration Law Center in June 2022

WASHINGTON — The boards of directors of the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and NILC Immigrant Justice Fund (IJF) have announced that Executive Director Marielena Hincapié will leave both organizations in June 2022.

Hincapié has been at NILC for more than 20 years, including 13 as executive director. Under Hincapié’s leadership, NILC defended and advanced the rights of low-income immigrants at all levels of government, ranging from successfully challenging draconian state anti-immigrant laws from Arizona to Alabama, to launching the Winning in the States initiative that resulted in increased access to health care, workers’ rights, driver’s licenses, and greater immigrant justice.

She has been a key architect of numerous movement campaigns, such as Protecting Immigrant Families, No Muslim Ban Ever, and the Immigrant Movement Visioning Process in the midst of the Trump era. Most recently, Hincapié led the organization in successfully challenging the Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies and protecting Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiaries before the U.S. Supreme Court, while co-leading the #ImmigrantsAreEssential narrative and culture change initiative to achieve recognition of the humanity and dignity of all immigrants.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to have led NILC and the IJF during turbulent times in our nation, where the stakes are so high for immigrants and our democracy,” said Hincapié. “NILC is a leaderful organization and well-prepared to continue to lead the movement for safety, rights, and justice for low-income immigrants now and in the future. It has been a tremendous honor to have served low-income immigrant communities and to have partnered with so many movement leaders these past two decades. It is time for me to find other ways to advance my commitment to a society in which we all have the freedom to thrive.”

“Marielena Hincapié strategically expanded NILC’s influence with policymakers across the country and cemented her place as a visionary leader within the pro-immigrant movement, while helping to elevate NILC’s presence nationally,” said Sara K. Gould, chair of the NILC board of directors.

Angela M. Banks, NILC board chair-elect, expressed, “While we are sad that Marielena is leaving NILC, we are confident in the team and systems she has put in place to advance the mission of the organization. This is our moment to push forward a pathway to citizenship and we remain laser focused on building a more racially and economically just society.”

“NILC IJF remains committed to leading transformative, systemic change that builds political power with immigrant communities,” said Allen Erenbaum, chair of the NILC IJF board of directors. “Marielena has fostered leadership throughout the organization that will ensure our work of establishing immigration as a winning political issue continues, and we are focused on continuing to build and flex political power on behalf of immigrants in 2022 and beyond.”

NILC and IJF’s leaders say making progress on critical racial, economic, and gender justice issues affecting low-income immigrants will remain the priority of the organization throughout the search and transition process. NILC and IJF’s boards are working with the Nonprofit Professionals Advisory Group to search for the next executive director. Board leaders are committed to engaging staff, partners, and other stakeholders in the search and transition.

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NILC Statement on the Introduction of the LIFT the BAR Act in the U.S. House of Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2021

CONTACT
Madison Allman, [email protected], 202-384-1279

NILC Statement on the Introduction of the LIFT the BAR Act in the U.S. House of Representatives

WASHINGTON — Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center, issued the following statement on today’s introduction of the LIFT the BAR Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“All of us — no matter how much money we have or where we were born — have a fundamental right to health care, education, nutrition, and housing. By eliminating these discriminatory exclusions that have kept the safety net out of reach for millions of immigrants and their loved ones, the LIFT the BAR Act would help confront significant disparities that have only been exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic and bring us closer to our vision of health care for all so that everyone can have the freedom to thrive. The National Immigration Law Center thanks Reps. Pramila Jayapal and Tony Cárdenas for their leadership and urges Congress to swiftly see it through.”

Introduced by Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), the LIFT the BAR Act would repeal outdated, discriminatory barriers that have kept the safety net out of reach for millions of immigrant families for decades. It would also expand access to health care and certain economic support programs to millions of lawful permanent residents and people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or temporary protected status (TPS).

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