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The National Immigration Law Center’s blog

Stakes Are Huge after Supreme Court Oral Argument on DACA
DACA recipients and their supporters around the country hope that the Supreme Court will see through the Trump administration’s unreasoned decision-making and attempts to shirk responsibility for an unpopular political decision. Their lives and families depend on it. We have strong arguments that court after court have agreed with. But whatever decision the Court issues next year, we will continue fighting alongside immigrant youth as they courageously lead the immigrant justice movement, fighting for inclusion and recognition and for the future of our country. | November 12, 2019

Deportation Machine Relies on Inaccurate Databases and Unregulated Collection
A U.S. district court in California recently concluded that the immigration databases U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement relies on are too unreliable to form the basis for probable cause to issue “detainers” against people whom ICE seeks to detain. The court reviewed multiple databases, finding that they “often contain incomplete data, significant errors, or were not designed to provide information that would be used to determine a person’s removability.” | November 1, 2019

SSA “No-Match” Letters Hurt Seniors, Workers, and Employers
Everyone agrees that the Social Security Administration should ensure that workers are credited for their earnings. But the SSA inspector general has found that no-match letters sent to employers helped reduce the size of the Earnings Suspense File only about 2 percent of the time. Meanwhile, no-match letters are a direct threat to millions of workers. U.S. citizen workers who’ve changed their names and work-authorized immigrants are particularly at risk.  | October 31, 2019

Home Is Here, and We’re Here to Stay
We who’ve received DACA won’t allow ourselves to be used as bargaining chips in President Trump’s program to remake America in his image. We’ve been putting up the fight of our lives and will continue to do so. And we’ll not allow Trump’s administration to define who we are. To every person who has at some time been told to “go home” because of the color of our skin, know this: You are home. Always have been. Always will be. Home is here. And we’re here to stay. | October 25, 2019

Survey Confirms DACA Beneficiary Gains as Cases Head to Supreme Court
It’s clear that providing even temporary protections to undocumented youth has resulted in substantial gains, for them and for the U.S. generally. Taking away DACA would mean denying DACA recipients opportunities for higher education, better quality jobs and, potentially, the ability to remain with their families in the country that has been their home for decades. It would also deny their communities the contributions that DACA recipients make in them every day | September 25, 2019

I Volunteered a Week at the Border. Here’s What Refugee Families Are Facing.
Being afforded their right to a just asylum-application process literally means life or death for families who are seeking asylum at our southern border. And yet our government punishes these families and makes each step more miserable and dehumanizing than the last. Our system is being intentionally reconfigured to make life as difficult as possible for those seeking safety within our borders. It’s an ugly reality that we all must confront and work tirelessly to dismantle. | September 13, 2019

How ICE Blurs the Line between Its Civil and Criminal Enforcement Functions
ICE, in performing its various functions, has consistently blurred the line between the resources it allocates for investigating criminal activities and those it allocates to civil immigration enforcement. ICE’s increasing reliance on databases and systems outsourced to private companies has increased its ability and tendency to blur this line. It is critically important to understand and challenge how this blurring occurs and to remind our representatives in Congress that they should be cutting ICE’s funding and holding it accountable for how it uses its resources. | August 27, 2019

Three Things You Should Know About Trump’s New “Public Charge” Rule
One: Trump’s public charge regulation is a race-based wealth test that creates prejudicial standards for people of color. Two: We’ve seen abuses like this before — both in our country’s history and from this presidential administration. Three: Confusion and fear are causing people to unnecessarily avoid using crucial programs that could help them. But Americans will continue to fight back to protect immigrant families and our country’s future. When America is at its best, we are a welcoming country. | August 20, 2019

How ICE Uses Driver’s License Photos and DMV Databases
States that offer access to driver’s licenses for all eligible residents can help ensure the success of these policies by safeguarding the information in their department of motor vehicle databases to the greatest extent possible. Drivers will weigh the risk that DMV information, including photos, will be shared against the consequences of being stopped for not having a license. States can promote public safety by adopting robust policies that protect all drivers’ privacy. | August 6, 2019

HUD’s “Mixed-Status” Rule Is the Latest Attack on the Immigrant Community
From family separations at the border to a proposed “public charge” rule that would punish immigrant families for using health, housing, and nutrition programs, the Trump administration is issuing policies to fulfill its anti-immigrant agenda. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s proposed changes to low-income housing eligibility, which have not yet been implemented, are the most recent in the long string of attacks on the immigrant community. | July 8, 2019

Brave People Got the Dream & Promise Act Passed, but Much Work Remains
We celebrate passage of the Dream & Promise Act in the House of Representatives but still have lots of work to do. True solidarity means looking to affected immigrant communities for leadership on the issues that affect them and using your resources as citizens with voting power, as DACA recipients with access to work authorization and education, and, hopefully, as potential beneficiaries of the Dream and Promise Act to uplift the voices of those who would otherwise be left out. | June 7, 2019

Border Wall Harms Migrants, Communities, Wildlife, and the Environment
Trump’s demands that more border wall be built between the United States and Mexico reflect broader, systemic efforts by his administration to exclude immigrant communities of color. By building more wall along the border, Trump is manufacturing another crisis that will cause extensive damage to border communities and the environment and that will lead to greater human suffering — all in the name of perpetuating his racist agenda. | May 7, 2019

Adding Citizenship Question Would Undermine Reliability of 2020 Census
Under the Enumeration Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the census must count everyone living in the United States, regardless of their immigration status. Social scientists, policymakers, advocates, and even former directors of the Census Bureau have argued that introducing a citizenship question — which has not been tested — would have a chilling effect on the census response rate. This would undermine the reliability of census data by undercounting particular populations, especially low-income people and people of color. | April 22, 2019

Worksite Raids Terrorize Now and Have Devastating Long-Term Consequences
Workers who have lived through a worksite immigration raid describe how a normal workday suddenly transforms into multiple scenes of violent chaos infused with fear. Whether or not the next immigration raid breaks recent records for the number of workers arrested, we can be sure that not only the workers themselves, but also the broader communities where the raids are conducted, will suffer devastating consequences for years to come. | April 11, 2019

Congress Adds Its Voice to the Fight Against the Muslim Ban
Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) today introduced the National Origin-Based Antidiscrimination for Nonimmigrants (No Ban) Act in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. Due to the hard work of many coalition partners, this bill includes the pieces essential not only to repeal the Muslim ban but also to create barriers against issuing any new ban. The No Ban Act would amend sections of the Immigration Nationality Act that Trump used as legal authority to create all his various bans.  | April 10, 2019

The Dream and Promise Act (H.R. 6) Is an Important Step Forward
By providing permanent protections and a pathway to U.S. citizenship for Dreamers and people with Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or temporary protected status (TPS) or deferred enforced departure (DED), this bill combines prior efforts to protect these populations. It recognizes that, in many ways, the people who comprise these communities are similarly impacted and, in some cases, are even part of the same households.  | March 14, 2019

House “Medicare for All” Bill Tears Down Walls
As the Medicare for All proposal is introduced and begins its passage through the House of Representatives, people outraged by the Trump administration’s obsession with building a wall should pay close attention. Rep. Pramila Jayapal and more than 100 cosponsors want to do more than stop a border wall; they want to build an America where everyone can thrive. Their legislation envisions a country where all would have access to health care.  | February 27, 2019

Funding for HSI Is Funding for Trump’s Anti-Immigrant Agenda
There is no legitimate reason for Congress to increase funding for HSI’s abusive worksite raids. HSI has approximately 6,000 enforcement officers and 6,000 special agents. But it wants to add an additional 10,000 officers and agents, which would significantly increase its capacity to harm families and communities across the country. Rather than increasing HSI’s funding, Congress should cut it and also prohibit HSI from arresting workers while conducting worksite enforcement. | February 8, 2019

Vetting Center Implementation Plan Raises More Concerns Than It Answers
The Trump administration recently released a redacted version of its implementation plan (dated August 2018 but not released until December 2018) for a newly created National Vetting Center. The NVC project was first announced by presidential proclamation in February 2018. While it raised immediate concerns, the implementation plan and a December 11, 2018, privacy impact assessment only confirm why this should worry immigrants and citizens. | January 31, 2019

More Spending on Border Will Secure Only More Suffering
The hysteria surrounding Trump’s demands for a wall gives the illusion that the U.S.-Mexico border remains a lawless expanse that migrants are free to cross. In fact, since the 1990s, the U.S.-Mexico border has become increasingly fortified with infrastructure that has made migration more difficult and dangerous. Border militarization has come at a significant cost for both U.S. taxpayers and border-crossers seeking safety and opportunity in the United States. | January 30, 2019

Trump-McConnell Bill Is an Anti-Immigrant Wish List
The Senate soon will vote on a “compromise” bill to reopen the government that is nothing more than a ransom note to American taxpayers. As federal employees face missing their second paycheck, the White House and McConnell have shown once again their callous disregard for American workers and their ruthless desire to radically reshape our immigration system by gutting protections for asylum-seekers, vulnerable immigrant youth, and people with DACA or TPS. | January 23, 2019

Trump’s Wall Demands Hurt People Already Hurting the Most
As the government shutdown persists with no end in sight, low-income Americans continue to suffer and will face increasingly dire consequences. Trump’s racist and xenophobic demand for a border wall is not only immoral and wasteful, he is holding hostage Black, brown, immigrant, poor, and working-class Americans who cannot afford to miss the paychecks and benefits on which their families depend for survival. | January 14, 2019

Vote Today on Court Nominee Who Disregards Rights of the Most Vulnerable
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee votes on Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Gaining a seat on the Court confers a lifetime duty to uphold the rights and values of our democracy, including the responsibility to protect the rights of everyone living in the United States. Kavanaugh’s judicial record shows a disregard for the rights of women, workers, and immigrants that will be dangerous for families all across our country. | September 13, 2018

Government Vacuuming Up Information on Immigrants and Citizens
In the service of its immigrant surveillance and deportation machine, the Trump administration is vacuuming up vast amounts of unfiltered information about immigrants and U.S. citizens. Among the ways information is being collected are “visa lifecycle vetting,” tracking of social media and and other Internet use, relying on commercial database aggregators, creating a giant information database, and using automated license plate readers. | August 22, 2018

Questions Remain Weeks After Failure to Reunite Children and Parents
President Trump’s family separation policy has harmed about 2,500 migrant children over the past several months, and serious questions remain about how the administration is treating immigrant families once they are reunited. To get answers, we filed a Freedom of Information Act request last month on behalf of an organization that represents several families who’ve experienced the inhumane consequences of the Trump administration’s family separation policies. | August 14, 2018

Should I renew my DACA now?
Why has there been an uptick in chatter about renewing DACA now? Some experts think it’s possible that USCIS could stop accepting DACA renewal applications as early as the end of August. Depending on what happens in the courts, the option to renew may remain indefinitely or may be modified or eliminated by the courts’ decisions. You will need to decide whether it makes sense for you to apply for DACA renewal now. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision.  | August 7, 2018

Where Are the Children? Not in Trump’s Priorities
The climate of fear, the separation and detention of families, and the uncertainty of the future compels every American to ask, “Where are the children?” in the Trump administration’s priorities. Children in immigrant families are enduring toxic stress, anxiety, and other longstanding negative health impacts due to unjust policies that separate families, traumatize children, and go against American values of protecting children. | June 26, 2018

Untangling Trump’s Mass Deportation Agenda
By terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, rescinding temporary protected status for people from certain countries, issuing the Muslim ban, and banning certain refugees, the current administration has made clear that its agenda is to bar entry of immigrants and deport both documented and undocumented individuals. Our immigration struggles are linked to this larger agenda of exclusion and expulsion. | June 15, 2018

What to Look for in Any “DACA Solution”
It’s critically important to carefully read and evaluate any proposed “DACA solution” bill. The public messaging about it may be focused on “protecting DACA and immigrant youth,” but we must look at the entire bill and understand any potential harm it may have on immigrant communities and broader communities of color. It’s usually the case that, until you read a bill section by section, you can’t really tell what its real purpose is, regardless of its title. | June 14, 2018

What Does the Masterpiece Cakeshop Ruling Mean for Immigrant Communities?
Several commentators have noted similarities between the “official expressions of hostility” to religious beliefs in this case and the anti-Muslim comments made by President Trump in relation to his Muslim ban executive orders. It remains to be seen whether the Court will take Trump’s comments as seriously, while it considers the constitutionality of the administration’s Muslim ban in the Trump v. Hawaii case. | June 5, 2018

The Promise of America?
Yes, we are being threatened in bold ways, and our communities are under constant assault. But this hasn’t happened spontaneously. In fact, this is the reality of America for far too many of its citizens and residents. So we do what we have always done in this country. We resist. We continue to educate and politicize our people and allies, we organize, and we build a more connected and accountable multiracial movement. | May 8, 2018

3 Important Points to Know about Texas’s DACA Lawsuit
On May 1, 2018, Texas and six other states filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Naturally, Texas’s latest lawsuit has created confusion and concerns about what it means for immigrant youth and the fight to protect immigrant families across the country. Here are three important points to know about the Texas lawsuit. | May 4, 2018

Government’s Supreme Court Argument Tries to Divorce from Trump’s Own Words and Record His Ban on Travel from Muslim-majority Countries
Throughout its argument before the Supreme Court today, the government took pains to distance Trump’s ban not only from its predecessor executive orders, but also from President Trump and the many anti-Muslim statements he has made throughout his candidacy and presidency. | April 25, 2018

Trump’s Ban As Experienced by Yemeni-Americans
Although the presidential proclamation about the ban states that waivers are to be issued on a case-by-case basis, and though it prohibits consular and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers from issuing waivers to groups or categories of applicants, the U.S. embassy in Djibouti has issued en masse visa denials — to children, mothers, fathers, spouses, and other relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents seeking to reunite with their families in the U.S. | April 25, 2018

Four Ways You Can Help #BringMarcoBack
As he has with many Dreamers, President Trump failed Marco Villada when he cruelly terminated the DACA program. Congress failed Marco again by failing to pass the Dream Act. Now, finally, the Trump administration has failed Marco yet again by barring him from coming home and thus separating him from his husband, family, friends, and life here in the U.S. If you stand with Marco and his husband, Israel, here are four things you can do to help #BringMarcoBack. | April 23, 2018

A Year in Review: Reflections on Resistance against the Muslim Ban
I am personally moved by the amicus brief of the children of Fred Korematsu, Gordon Hirabayashi, and Minoru Yasui. They see the disturbing relevance of the Supreme Court’s decisions in their fathers’ infamous cases challenging the mass removal and incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Their amicus brief outlines the parallels between the two cases as the U.S. government is once again asking the Court to blindly justify blanket action against an entire group. | April 17, 2018

Trump’s Latest Muslim Ban Makes Its Way to the Supreme Court
On April 25, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether one of the latest versions of Trump’s Muslim ban exceeds the authority of the president under federal immigration law and whether it violates the U.S. Constitution by discriminating against a certain religious group. Unlike prior versions of the ban, this iteration is permanent and was allowed to go into full effect until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling. | April 2, 2018

Trump’s Proposed Immigration Rule Would Harm All of Us
If the Trump administration gets its way, factors like income, number of children, or any use of programs that help people meet basic needs would make you ineligible to bring your family to the U.S, and could affect your ability to get a green card. The proposed rule would punish lawfully present families who attempt to access basic human needs such as food and health care — including for their U.S. citizen children. | March 29, 2018

Wrong Info on USCIS Website Resulted in Rejected DACA Renewal Application
The lives of Lisbeth and her family have been put in crisis by the Trump administration’s reckless termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and by incorrect information published by the very government agency charged with administering the process that would provide them some relief and protection. | February 26, 2018

Allowed to Finally Shine
Once I had DACA, my whole life changed. I was immediately hired by … a world-renowned interior design and architecture firm. I was allowed to finally shine at what I studied to do. DACA gave me the opportunity to work in my field, becoming well known in the New York City interior design world before becoming a small business owner of a growing textile company. | February 23, 2018

This Little Piece of Freedom to Be Almost Normal, Like My Peers
But most importantly — this is gonna sound crazy — but I love paying income taxes. I love taking my shoe box to H&R Block and doing my taxes every year. It confirms my belief that I am a contributing member of this country. And, yes, sometimes as a DACAmented youth it feels like “taxation without representation,” but it is still something that allows me to be part of this country. | February 22, 2018

Anywhere We Are Planted We Are Capable of Blooming
I strongly believe anywhere we are planted we are capable of blooming. As a child living in Jamaica, I had to walk five miles each day just to get clean water to drink and bathe. Every day was a struggle. … Although I had to grow up early in order to help my family, I consider the hardships of my early life an important source of my strong work ethic today. | February 21, 2018

We Are Not Afraid
We are Mexican, we are Latinos, we are Asians, we are Muslims, we are Everyone, and WE ARE NOT AFRAID. We are educated individuals ready to fight, because we don’t know anything else — we have been fighting since we were born. Fighting to keep our cultures and traditions while being American, fighting to make our families proud, fighting for our space in this country, fighting to never go back into the shadows again. | February 20, 2018

PHOTO JOURNAL: Not Just a Dreamer
Brittany Aguilera lost her DACA on December 7, 2017. A trained photographer who lives in New York, Brittany documented her experiences through photos the day before and the day after her DACA expired. Her photo journal of those two days is accompanied by excerpts adapted from a speech she gave recently at a press conference in Washington, DC. | February 16, 2018

Dreamers Are Trailblazers for Their Families and Communities
I’m the kind of individual who has recognized that in order to help others, I must help myself. My parents’ separation led to both financial and emotional instabilities, but it did not deter my efforts to self-sustain. I pay for my own education and bills. I sign my own lease and responsibly manage my debts. I know the value I possess in the eyes of potential employers, and I am bold enough to say, “You need me.” | February 15, 2018

It’s February, and I’m Undocumented Again
An immigration attorney I was working with forgot to include the expiration date of my DACA on the renewal form, and I received a notice that I needed to resubmit. Although I fixed it and sent it back as soon as I got the notification, I was told it was too late. My stomach dropped. Given how much DACA has meant for my life, this felt like a major setback. | February 14, 2018

A Dreamer Whose Contributions Help Drive America
Chances are that if you drive a Ford or GM vehicle you have an HVAC system designed by me and my team. … I have bought a house, and I support my family financially, including helping pay for my sister’s college tuition. I look forward to the Dream Act or similar comprehensive immigration reform being passed in Congress. This will assure that the protections I have under DACA are maintained and that I get to contribute to society as much as I can. | February 13, 2018

We Hope for an American Future
When an Ethiopian boy effectively arrived on our rural central Maryland doorstep as a one-year-old, my wife and I chose to do the right thing. … So began our journey of learning the bumpy road of immigration in America. … It seemed odd to us that it was legally possible to adopt him, despite it being legally impossible for him to obtain U.S. citizenship — but adoption was at least a step in the right direction. | February 12, 2018

How ICE Uses Databases and Information-Sharing to Deport Immigrants
Immigrants’ rights advocates are concerned about how ICE and DHS use databases and information-sharing systems to target people for deportation. Advocates are particularly interested in understanding how ICE interacts with state and local law enforcement agencies and DMVs, fearing that even innocent contact with police or DMVs will put immigrants and their family members at risk of deportation. | January 25, 2018

Five Things to Know about the Latest USCIS Announcements
USCIS has announced that it would resume accepting DACA renewal applications beginning January 13, 2018. This policy change is in response to the January 9 injunction by a U.S. district court in San Francisco requiring the federal government to resume accepting DACA renewal applications. This policy reversal is the result of several lawsuits challenging the Trump administration’s September 5, 2017, decision to terminate the wildly successful DACA program. | January 14, 2018

“The Fosters” Season Premiere Shows How You Can Support Immigrant Families
Tonight’s season premiere episode, “Sanctuary,” of “The Fosters” on the Freeform channel touches on some important topics related to how our country’s immigration system continues to rip families apart. In last season’s finale, Callie and AJ helped their friend Ximena seek sanctuary in a church when ICE came looking for Ximena because she had spoken out at a rally and disclosed that she’s undocumented. | January 9, 2018

Updates on REAL ID and Information Sharing by Motor Vehicles Departments
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced that, as of Jan. 22, 2018, airports may begin requiring REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses of travelers from certain states. As a reminder, the REAL ID Act requires states to issue driver’s licenses and identification cards that meet specific requirements in order to be accepted for identification for certain (but not all) official federal purposes. |  January 8, 2018

Tips on How to be a Better Ally for the Immigrants’ Rights Cause
This week, thousands of immigrants and allies hit the streets to demand the passage of the Dream Act before the end of the year, and it was amazing. Over 200 people put their bodies on the line and were arrested demanding the #DreamActNow. Now more than ever, immigrant youth need our allies to stand strong and firm with us in this fight for the Dream Act. As a DACAmented immigrant, I’d like to share a few tips with you on how to be an even better ally for the cause. | December 8, 2017

DHS Is Collecting Information on Immigrants’ and Citizens’ Social Media Use and Making It Part of Their Permanent Records
If you’re an immigrant or a naturalized U.S. citizen, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wants to track your activities. The targets of DHS’s plan to continually surveil and monitor are not only people applying for immigration status or attempting to cross the border into the U.S. DHS wants to keep its eye on all aspects of immigrants’ daily lives. | November 30, 2017

NILC’s Immigration Policy Advocate Shares Tips for Coping with Holiday and
DACA-related Stress

Since the 2016 presidential election, I’ve heard more and more people talk about “self-care” and “wellness.” I’ve struggled trying to achieve both since well before the election, so I’ve had to think through what they mean for me, and I hope what I’ve discovered may be helpful to you too. Remember, though, nothing can replace the advice and recommendations of mental health professionals. | November 21, 2017

Muslim Bans 3.0 and 4.0: How We’re Fighting Them
Once again, U.S. district courts in both Hawaii and Maryland ordered a halt to Muslim Ban 3.0, the latest attempt by the Trump administration to block Muslims from entering the U.S. Muslim Ban 3.0 indefinitely bars nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela from coming in to the U.S. (the restriction on people from Venezuela applies only to government officials and their family members). | November 9, 2017

Open Enrollment Under the Affordable Care Act is Nov. 1 Through Dec. 15
This year’s open enrollment for health insurance in the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s/Obamacare’s) marketplace begins on Wednesday, Nov. 1. Although immigrant families’ concerns may be heightened, the laws and policies about immigrants’ eligibility for health coverage have not changed. And assisters need to be prepared to answer questions about whether it is safe to apply. | November 1, 2017

The Butterfly Story Collective: Social Change Through the Power of Sharing Stories
The Butterfly Story Collective strives to create more intimate connections through the collective power of storytelling. A brand new initiative, the collective is a network of local storytelling projects, produced by immigrants, about immigrants’ diverse experiences in the U.S. The collective’s participants seek to share resources, learn from one another, and strengthen local relationships. | October 27, 2017

The Fight Continues: What Muslim Ban 3.0 Means in the Courts and in the Streets
Muslim Ban 3.0 is a revision of the 2.0 version. It removes Sudan from the list of countries whose citizens and longtime residents are banned from traveling to the U.S. and adds Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela. Another change is that it doesn’t ban refugees as the earlier bans did though the president recently slashed the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. in fiscal year 2018 to a 30-year low of 45,000. | October 13, 2017

The Clock is Ticking, Congress. It’s Time to Pass a Clean Dream Act Now
The normal day-to-day existence that most of us tend to take for granted now has an expiration date for almost 800,000 young immigrants. For these hundreds of thousands of young people, the day their DACA expires is the day their jobs, schooling, and security could go up in smoke. It’s the day they will become vulnerable to being deported to a country they may not even have a memory of. | October 5, 2017

Untangling the Immigration Enforcement Web: New NILC Report Looks at Cooperation Between Local Law Enforcement and Federal Agencies
Immigrants are caught in a complex and opaque web of databases, related systems, and information-sharing mechanisms that make it easier for immigration enforcement to disrupt their lives and prevent them from fully participating in economic and social life in the U.S. These systems often depend on the entanglement of state and local law enforcement or licensing agencies with federal agencies. | September 22, 2017

They Risked Everything for a Shot at the American Dream; Now We Must Stand Up and Defend Them
For five years, DACA has allowed young people, often referred to as “dreamers,” to come forward and pursue the same educational, professional, and life opportunities available to anyone who grew up in the U.S. It is up to all of us to ensure that these protections remain in place. We must continue to raise our voices and tell our representatives in Congress to swiftly pass the Dream Act of 2017. | September 7, 2017

Dreamers’ Stories Show What Would Be Lost if DACA Were to End
Getting a driver’s license, finding a job, going to college—these are milestones in life that most of us take for granted, but for more than 800,000 young people, these things are only possible because of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). We asked DACA recipients, along with their friends and family members, to tell us what DACA means for them. The responses poured in, and the message was plain: DACA changes lives. | August 25, 2017

On Its Fifth Anniversary, Let’s Celebrate and #DefendDACA!
I cautiously celebrate this milestone as I recognize DACA’s success, while grappling with the concern about its possible rescission and what that could mean to so many people in this country. Since DACA’s implementation in 2012, over 800, 000people have benefited from it, getting a chance to work with authorization, along with a reprieve from the threat of deportation. | August 15, 2017

Even Though There Are Legal Threats to DACA, There Is Reason to Be Hopeful
Several legal threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have its beneficiaries and prospective applicants understandably worried, but it’s important to remember that there haven’t been any major changes to the program and that, because there’s broad bipartisan support for keeping it, there’s also reason to be hopeful. | August 4, 2017

From Japanese-American Internment Camps to the Muslim Ban: The Terrible Consequences of Discriminatory Executive Orders
In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the removal and incarceration of 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry living on the West Coast. People had just a few days to prepare and were permitted to bring only what they could carry. Many families suffered crushing economic losses as they hurriedly sold their farms, homes, and businesses. | July 27, 2017

While We’re Watching the Trumpcare Train Wreck, Let’s Not Allow Our Dollars to Fund Trump’s Wall and Deportation Machine
It has been another eventful week in Washington, DC, under the Trump administration. Congress continues to dominate headlines with its failing efforts to repeal Obamacare and leave millions without health care; threats to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) may put 800,000 youth at risk of deportation; and yesterday the bipartisan Durban-Graham DREAM Act was introduced. | July 21, 2017

What Does it Mean That the Supreme Court Asked for the Solicitor General’s View on the Arizona DACA Driver’s License Case?
The solicitor general is the DOJ’s officer responsible for representing the federal government before the Supreme Court. Additionally, the Court can ask for the solicitor general’s view through what is called a “Call for the Views of the Solicitor General” or a “CVSG.”  The solicitor general then submits a legal brief to the Court in which he offers his opinions on whether the Court should hear the case. | July 17, 2017

Increasing the Number of Uninsured Would Hurt Everyone
Immigrants would be directly impacted if the BCRA became law because under the current Affordable Care Act lawfully present immigrants (with the exception of DACA recipients) are eligible to obtain health plans and income-based subsidies through the health care exchanges. The BCRA would strip eligibility from all but the subset of lawfully present immigrants deemed “qualified” under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. | July 6, 2017

What Does the DAPA Rescission Mean and What Does It Imply for DACA?
On June 15, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly signed a memo rescinding the Obama administration’s November 2014 memorandum that announced a deferred action program for parents of citizens and lawful permanent residents (DAPA),  as well as expansions of  DACA. The DACA expansion would have covered more people who came to the  U.S. as children. | June 23, 2017

On Plyler v. Doe’s 35th Anniversary, This Landmark Supreme Court Decision Must Be Honored and Protected
Today marks the 35th anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, in which the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to deny students access to public elementary or secondary education based on their immigration status. As someone who was undocumented and who benefited from a public education, I’ll be forever grateful to those who, in arguing Plyler, defended my right to an education. And I am proud to be among those who will continue fighting to maintain this right for others. | June 15, 2017

Muslim Ban 2.0: What Happens Next?
On June 1, 2017, the administration filed papers asking the Supreme Court to “stay” the injunction issued by the federal court in Maryland and another injunction that was issued by a federal court in Hawaii — in other words, to lift both injunctions and allow the Muslim-ban executive order to go into full effect. The Maryland court’s injunction currently prevents section 2(c) of the executive order — the section that creates the Muslim ban (also known as the “travel ban”) — from taking effect. | June 9, 2017

One Way to Resist the Trump Anti-Immigrant Agenda? Refuse to Pay for It
Trump’s budget uses tax cuts for the wealthy to pay for his anti-immigrant agenda, including increased funding for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which is currently under fire for fiscal mismanagement and allegations of agent misconduct. This budget is a “Robin Hood in reverse” that steals money from the nation’s vulnerable communities to fill the pockets of millionaires and corporations. | June 1, 2017

Health Centers Can Become Safe Spaces for Immigrant Patients
Since Donald Trump’s inauguration as president, there has been an unwelcome chill in the air for immigrants and their families. The new administration has promised to deport any removable immigrant, and an increase in federal immigration enforcement has terrified immigrant families across the country. Some immigrants have decided to forego obtaining necessary medical care out of fear that they may be putting themselves or their family members at risk of deportation. | May 25, 2017

Name Variations in Proof Documents Create Major Headaches for Many
Low-Income Driver’s License Applicants

If you are a woman, a person of color, or a low-wage worker, you may find it harder to get a driver’s license that meets the requirements of the REAL ID Act. That’s because the name on the documents required to prove the applicant’s identity, citizenship or immigration status, Social Security number, and state residency must match, and any variations must be supported by proof of a name change. | May 11, 2017

School Settings Are Sensitive Locations That Should Be Off-Limits to Immigration Enforcement
Not only do parents and family members drop their children off at schools and pick them up, but they also come to school to attend events and learn important information relevant to themselves or their children. For these reasons, chilling access to schools has a deeply negative impact not only on the directly affected individuals and families, but also on the wider community. | May 4, 2017

May Day Protests Highlight the Importance of Protecting All Workers’ Rights
May 1—or May Day, or International Workers’ Day—is just around the corner. It has long been recognized as a day to celebrate workers and labor organizing. This year in the U.S., immigrants’ and workers’ rights organizations, labor unions, worker centers, and allied groups not only are planning public marches, but are also preparing for what may be the largest nationwide strike by immigrants in the past decade. | April 27, 2017

Why Protecting Everyone’s Access to Health Facilities Should Be a National Priority
The Trump administration’s aggressive immigration enforcement stance has caused immigrant communities to fear that spaces formerly considered safe may not continue to be safe to visit or use. This fear and uncertainty has made immigrants more reluctant to access health facilities, and over the past month, many health facilities have reported significant increases in missed appointments by their immigrant patients. | April 13, 2017

As a Sikh Woman of Color and Child of Immigrants, I Found Gorsuch’s Vague Answers Troubling
When Senator Patrick Leahy asked Gorsuch if a blanket religious test is consistent with the First Amendment, I noticed how vague his response was, and it almost made me choke. “If you are asking about how to apply it to a specific case, I can’t talk about that for understandable reasons. You ask me to apply it to a set of facts that look an awful lot like a pending case in many circuits now,” Gorsuch answered. | April 6, 2017

This Cesar Chavez Day, Immigrant Workers Fight Back Against Trump through Robust Organizing and Resistance
March 31st is the birthday of Cesar Chavez, the American civil rights activist and labor organizer who cofounded United Farm Workers with Dolores Huerta. In honor of Chavez’s legacy, we highlight some new forms of immigrant-worker organizing emerging in resistance to the Trump administration’s aggressive efforts to instill fear in immigrant communities. | March 31, 2017

Love Wins in Louisiana Immigrant Marriage Case | March 24, 2017
Viet “Victor” Anh Vo and his fiancée are the portrait of commitment. Yet, their home state of Louisiana would not allow them to get married. Two months before their scheduled wedding the Louisiana legislature passed Act 436, which required Victor to present a birth certificate from the country he was born in to acquire a marriage license.  The problem was, Victor had been born in a refugee camp in Indonesia to Vietnamese parents, and neither Indonesia, nor Vietnam had any record of his birth.

ACA Replacement Bill Not a Good Deal for Immigrants
The headlines regarding the American Health Care Act, the House Republicans’ Obamacare replacement bill, have rightly focused on the 24 million people the Congressional Budget Office expects will lose health care coverage if the bill is enacted. But if you dig into the bill, you find that it proposes policies that could harm many communities, including immigrants. Republicans released the bill and jammed it through the committees of jurisdiction within days. | March 16, 2017

Despite Rebranding, the New Refugee and Muslim Ban Is Still Illegal
On January 27, President Trump tried to sell the country on a losing (and unconstitutional) idea: that banning vulnerable refugees and people from certain Muslim-majority countries was somehow a matter of national security. After abandoning any attempts to continue defending in court the flagrantly discriminatory first version of his refugee and Muslim ban, Trump issued a new EO on March 6 under the same title. | March 9, 2017

Unpacking the References to Public Benefits and the Privacy Act in Trump’s Executive Order on Interior Enforcement
One lesson President Trump’s administration learned from his campaign is that misinformation and fear are powerful tools—tools they are now using in drafting, releasing, and carrying out his executive orders. They are already putting these lessons into practice in an issue area ripe for exploiting misunderstanding: public benefits and economic supports. | March 2, 2017

Answers from Our DACA Expert: Our Immigration Policy Advocate Answers Questions Most Asked During Trump’s First Month in Office
During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he would end DACA if he were elected president. Unsubstantiated rumors circulated that he would end DACA on the day he was inaugurated, but that didn’t happen. Then rumors circulated that DACA would end his first week in office, but that didn’t happen either. | February 23, 2017

Five Things You Should Know About the Draft Executive Order on
Public Benefits
A draft executive order titled “Protecting Taxpayer Resources by Ensuring Our Immigration Laws Promote Accountability and Responsibility” has appeared several times in the news media. If signed by the president, the draft order would open a new front in the administration’s campaign against immigrants—an attack on lawfully present immigrants and their families. | February 16, 2017

How to Prepare Yourself and Others for Encounters With Immigration Enforcement
There have been disturbing reports over recent days of dozens or even hundreds of people across the country being picked up in U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids. Though we knew these types of raids were likely coming soon under the Trump administration, it serves as an important reminder to be prepared and know your rights in the event that you encounter ICE. | February 10, 2017

The Sprint That Saved Hundreds of Refugees and Immigrants from Being Deported
Lawyers from NILC, the ACLU, the International Refugee Assistance Project, and the Yale Law School Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic rushed to the aid of two Iraqi men who had landed at JFK Airport in New York to find that, as NILC Legal Director Karen Tumlin put it, “The world had shifted under their feet.” The resulting class-action lawsuit saved hundreds from deportation. | February 3, 2017

NILCer Teamed Up with Other Ex-Congressional Staffers, Civil Servants and Advocates to Create a Playbook for Resisting the Trump Agenda
Former congressional staffers, civil servants, and advocates began meeting in mid-November to talk about what we could do to mitigate the harm that would almost certainly result from a Trump presidency and Republican control of Congress. The group eventually produced a guide that we hoped would empower more people to effectively influence their members of Congress. | January 20, 2017

Sessions Scorns Principles and Laws He Would Be Charged with Enforcing as AG
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee will seek to determine whether Sen. Jeff Sessions is fit to serve as our nation’s next attorney general, but the senators’ track record speaks for itself. His disdain for the very principles America was founded on is well documented. He has consistently demonstrated contempt for the diversity that makes America great. | January 10, 2017

nyc-h-hNYC Health + Hospitals’ “Open Letter” Sets an Inspiring Example That Could and Should Be Copied Across the Country
NYC Health + Hospitals, which runs the public hospitals and clinics in New York City, published a message of welcome to immigrant New Yorkers in a public letter that renewed a commitment to protect patients’ privacy and, in particular, the privacy of their immigration status information. | January 5, 2017

dickdurbinBRIDGE Act is a Hopeful Development But Would Not Be a Long-Term Solution
The BRIDGE Act, whose name is derived from “Bar Removal of Individuals Who Dream of Growing Our Economy,” was introduced by Sens. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Dec. 9. It seeks to provide “provisional protected presence” to certain non–U.S. citizens, which would include authorization to work in the U.S. and protection from deportation, the two main benefits that DACA currently provides. | December 22, 2016

kevin-de-leon-2California Steps Forward to Protect Immigrants from Anticipated Trump Administration Policies
Three new measures recently introduced in the California legislature would provide much-needed support to immigrants who live in the state, and would erect roadblocks against aggressive immigration enforcement efforts anticipated under the incoming Trump administration. Two senators and an assembly member introduced the bills on Dec. 5. | December 15, 2016

sessionsA Deplorable Choice to Head the Justice Department
Over the past few weeks, the incoming administration has announced its nominees to head the Departments of Justice, Education, and Health and Human Services. These individuals will be primarily responsible for shaping our nation’s priorities over the next four years. But the personal history that each of these appointees brings to their job makes it highly doubtful that all of us living here in the U.S., regardless of where we were born, will be treated equally under the incoming administration. | December 5, 2016

dreamerswelcomeRecommendations for Those Considering Applying for DACA Following the Election
There are many concerns about what could happen to the DACA program once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. Trump said during his campaign that he intends to end DACA, though he has not said exactly if, how or when this might actually occur. We also won’t know until after Trump takes office what Trump administration officials might do with the information that DACA applicants have submitted. | November 14, 2016

kidsatrallycropTrump’s Victory Will Not Defeat Immigrants or Constitutional Rights
Tuesday’s election signaled the start of a difficult period for immigrants in the United States. On the campaign trail, President-elect Trump said he would impose many policies that would tear communities apart, including mass deportations and a ban on Muslim immigrants. He made a lot of promises, but campaigning is not governing. In fact, Trump has already backtracked on his plan for a mass deportation initiative. | November 10, 2016

wedding-rings-croppedLove Knows No Borders
Victor Vo met Heather Pham, and they fell in love. They decided to get married and, for more than a year, they meticulously planned a gorgeous wedding celebration. The decorations, the deejay, and the dinner menu were all set. Invitations were sent to over three hundred friends and family members. But just two weeks before the ceremony, the state of Louisiana—the place they call home—refused to grant Victor and Heather a marriage license. | November 3, 2016

dacapermitNew Study Confirms That DACA Provides Concrete Benefits to Both Immigrants and Native-Born
The National Immigration Law Center, United We Dream, the Center for American Progress, and Professor Tom Wong of the University of California, San Diego conducted a survey on how having Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) affects the people who’ve received it. A new report on the results shows how deferred action has changed people’s lives for the better. | October 27, 2016

boy-nurse-croppedReexamining the Medical Needs of Unaccompanied Children
Now that the school year has begun, we are reminded of the various inequities affecting low-income immigrant children. One particular inequity—the lack of access to affordable, quality health care—impacts more than just the immigrant child. It impacts the learning opportunities of everyone in the classroom. And despite expansions in health care coverage programs available to immigrant children, unaccompanied children remain an especially vulnerable population that demands our attention. | Oct. 20, 2016

josecroppedChicagoan Joins New Yorker in Fighting Texas Injunction Against DAPA and Expanded DACA
For too long, immigrant families in one part of the country have seen the federal courts in another part of the country rule—time and time again—against DAPA and the expansion of DACA, immigration programs that restore some fairness to our immigration system. Today, one more person took a courageous stand against this injustice. | October 13, 2016

renatablogAt 23, I Still Don’t Know What it’s Like to Call ‘My Doctor’
The year I got DACA I found myself in a paradox. DACA has opened new doors to me, allowing me to live and work without fear of deportation. It helped me be recognized as a person and as a member of my community and this country. Unfortunately, when undocumented immigrants and DACA recipients were restricted from accessing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it reminded me that I was still not welcomed here—worthy enough to work and pay taxes, but not to live a healthy life. | October 6, 2016

aaron-harveyThe List That Can Take Your Life | September 27, 2016
Today, in California, you can be placed on a secret list, with life-threatening implications, and never even know your name was added. The only reason I found out about this hidden database, called CalGang, is because being on the list nearly landed me in prison for life less than a year ago. Right now, a bill to address some of the problems with CalGang and other shared gang databases, AB 2298, is sitting on the governor’s desk, and Governor Jerry Brown has until this Friday, Sept. 30, to sign or veto it.

martinLawsuit Win Could Make DAPA and DACA+ Available in States That Weren’t Parties to Texas v. U.S. | September 22, 2016
Today, the first hearing was held in Batalla Vidal v. Baran, et al. The plaintiff in the case, Martin Batalla Vidal, is suing in New York federal district court to restrict the reach of an injunction issued early last year by a Texas federal district court that blocked the Obama administration’s DAPA and expanded-DACA executive actions from being implemented, putting the lives of millions of immigrants and their families on hold.

dmvLawsuit Challenges Arizona’s Discriminatory Denial of Driver’s Licenses to Domestic Violence Survivors and Others | September 15, 2016
Earlier this week, Marcos and four other Arizonans who were denied licenses under the new policy filed a lawsuit challenging the state’s continuing discrimination against survivors of domestic violence, parents of critically ill children, and Liberian nationals forced to flee their country because of armed conflict and widespread civil strife. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from NILC, MALDEF, and the Ortega Law Firm.

WorkersStrikeCropExpanded Joint Policy Provides New Protections for Immigrant Workers Who Allege Employment Discrimination or Unfair Labor Practices | September 1, 2016
When workers decide to come forward to make complaints about labor violations in their workplaces, they face many risks. Yet our system of labor protections depends on the courage of everyday people to speak up in the face of workplace violations because the government agencies responsible for enforcing labor laws are understaffed and many violations would go undetected if workers didn’t come forward to file complaints.


clintonwelfarereformReflections on the 20th Anniversary of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

PRWORA curtailed many immigrants’ eligibility for public benefits, including cash, food, and medical programs. With respect to “federal public benefits,” it limited eligibility to certain immigrants it defined as “qualified.” These qualified immigrants included lawful permanent residents (LPRs), refugees, asylees, and certain other immigrants admitted for humanitarian reasons. |  August 22, 2016

Ex147cropImages Ordered Released Confirm Immigrants’ Stories of Abusive Practices by U.S. Border Patrol
For years, we’ve heard accounts of inhumane conditions at the U.S. Border Patrol’s processing facilities, or hieleras (Spanish for iceboxes) as these short-term detention facilities have come to be known. Detainees described being held in frigid, overcrowded, filthy cells for days on end and being denied food, water, medical care, and basic hygiene necessities. | August 19, 2016

DACAstressCropStressed About Your DACA Renewal? Here Are Some Steps You Can Take
There have been delays at the USCIS Nebraska Service Center—one of four service centers—in processing renewal applications for DACA and the work permits that allow DACA recipients to work legally in the U.S. Though USCIS recommends that DACA recipients apply for renewal 120 to 150 days before their work permits expire, currently it’s taking the Nebraska Service Center about 180 days to process renewal applications. | August 11, 2016

Roll_call_DNC_2008Politicians Fail to Connect the Dots on Health Care and Immigration
Over the course of the recently held Democratic and Republican conventions, two issues in particular received significant attention: health care and immigration. Whatever your position on either of these two issues, the conventions demonstrated that they will remain in national headlines and in political and policy debates over the next several months. | August 4, 2016

Health kidsExpanded Medi-Cal for Undocumented Kids: What It Means and How to Apply
Under a new law that took effect this spring, all low-income California residents under age 19 are eligible to receive comprehensive health care through Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program. Children and youth who did not meet immigration status requirements were previously eligible for only “restricted scope” emergency and pregnancy services. | July 28, 2016


SCOTUSBuildingCropThe Ties That Bind: The Supreme Court and the U.S. v. Texas Deadlock

In United States v. Texas, a case examining the Executive’s ability to exercise prosecutorial discretion to defer the deportation of immigrants with strong ties to our country, the Court could not garner a majority. Due to the death of Justice Antonin Scalia earlier this year, the Court currently has only eight justices. The result: a handful of 4–4 tie votes and the uncertainty that comes with inconclusiveness. | July 19, 2016


GangDatabasesCrewCropLight Must Be Shed on Gang Databases and the Criminalization of People of Color

Gang databases have been used by law enforcement to criminalize people of color and immigrants, who are often targets of racial profiling. “Secret” databases like gang databases undermine fundamental values such as transparency and accountability. Adults have no way of knowing whether they are on a gang database, and no way of challenging their inclusion. | July 14, 2016

test photoIn His Final Months in Office, Will the President Choose Compassion or More Deportations?
The Supreme Court tie in U.S. v. Texas was a frustrating setback for millions of immigrant families, but the fight must continue and another question of historical significance for immigrants looms large: Will President Obama, in the final months of his administration, continue to round up and deport Central American mothers, children and youth seeking safe refuge in the United States? | June 30, 2016


YoSoyImmigrant Families Deserve a Decisive Answer, Not a Supreme Nondecision
One June 23 the Court split evenly on whether the executive branch was within its lawful authority in announcing two initiatives — an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and the creation of Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA), which would allow millions of immigrants apply for deportation deferral and work authorization. | June 28, 2016

NILCLawyersSCOTUS15 Years After Coming to the U.S. Undocumented, I Became a Lawyer. This Week I Was in the Supreme Court
This week, I was fortunate enough to be inside the U.S. Supreme Court for the argument in the U.S. v Texas case challenging the president’s immigration relief initiatives, known as DAPA and the expansion of DACA. While I entered the courthouse as a member of the Supreme Court Bar, having practiced law for 10 years, this scene would’ve seemed but a dream not too long ago. | April 20, 2016