news release

Trump Budget Proposal an Attack on Working Families

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 23, 2017

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, gastelum@nilc-ijf.org, 213-375-3149

WASHINGTON — Today President Trump released his proposal for next year’s federal spending. The proposed budget cuts more than $1 trillion in spending for vital social programs such as Medicaid and Meals on Wheels and invests $2.6 billion in additional immigration enforcement, including funds for detention, deportation, and the construction of Trump’s border wall.

Kamal Essaheb, director of policy and advocacy for the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund, released the following statement:

“President Trump’s budget proposal is a clear attack on America’s working families and most vulnerable residents. The proposal released today provides a blueprint for the destruction of policies and programs millions of Americans, both Republicans and Democrats, rely on to survive hard times and keep the American Dream alive.

“Without Medicaid, Meals on Wheels, and programs to aid people with disabilities, millions of Americans are at risk of losing access to even the most basic living standards. Instead of letting the rich get richer as a result of more tax cuts, while throwing working families into a devastating tailspin, we should enact stronger policies to create jobs, raise wages, invest in education, and give people a chance at a better future.

“How Trump and the Republican Party intend to spend the savings made from cutting these crucial programs is just as disturbing. An additional $2.6 billion dedicated to the already out-of-control deportation force will only further divide our communities, sowing fear and ripping more families apart. The consequences of today’s deportation force unleashed under this administration are already horrifying. To provide ICE and Border Patrol with more resources is to give them a gold star for abuse of power and acting with impunity.

“As Trump’s proposal now heads to Congress, we are putting Democrats on notice: To sign off on even one more penny for immigration detention, ICE and Border Patrol agents, or the wall not only makes you complicit in this force, but makes clear your full endorsement of it. As the Republican Party continues to blindly follow Trump’s reckless lead in lockstep, executing some of the most ill-conceived, destructive policies this country has ever seen, Democrats must continue to resist and not waver in their resolve to defeat this agenda.”

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Republican Efforts to Repeal Affordable Care Act Are Sickening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, 213-375-3149, gastelum@nilc-ijf.org

WASHINGTON — The Republicans in the House of Representatives have unveiled another attempt to jam through their deeply unpopular bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This amended version of the so-called American Health Care Act, blessed by key members of the Freedom Caucus, would do nothing to stop 24 million people from losing health insurance and would instead further open the doors to allow states to undo many of the protections that allowed millions of people to purchase quality insurance.

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

“After failing in such a spectacular fashion in March, Republicans in Congress and the White House are at it again, with even more insidious tactics. They have once again shown little regard for the health of millions of working families, putting politics and their agenda ahead of this nation’s health.

“Although the Affordable Care Act has not been a comprehensive solution our country’s health care needs, it has allowed tens of millions — including many thousands of immigrant families — to get the care they need to stay healthy. Republican attempts to strip millions of the insurance they now have is cruel, and this amendment makes it even worse. Members of Congress must continue to resist.”

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Sessions Announcement Criminalizes Communities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2017

CONTACT
Adela de la Torre, 213-400-7822, delatorre@nilc-ijf.org

WASHINGTON — Attorney General Jeff Sessions today released a memo guiding federal prosecutors to engage in extreme tactics and aggressively pursue charges against immigrants and those who engage in daily interactions with immigrants. Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund.

“Attorney General Sessions seems intent on dusting off Arizona’s failed anti-immigrant playbook and forcing it upon the rest of us. If followed, the recommendations highlighted in his memo wouldn’t just criminalize immigrants who have been contributing to our communities for decades, but also the native-born Sunday school teachers, friends, and loved ones we live with.

“These recommendations are harmful to public safety and community unity. President Trump and Sessions have asked for billions of dollars to help enact their mass deportation agenda, and Congress is deciding now whether to finance it. The question facing House Speaker Paul Ryan is clear: Do Republicans take a stand for their communities, or do they embrace this police-state vision for America?”

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Senator Sessions’ Exclusionary Vision of America Makes Him Unfit to Serve as Attorney General

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2016

CONTACT
Juan Gastelum, gastelum@nilc-ijf.org, 213-375-3149

WASHINGTON — News outlets have reported that President-elect Donald Trump will appoint Senator Jeff Sessions to be the nation’s 84th attorney general. The attorney general oversees the Department of Justice, of which several federal law enforcement agencies are a part. The Executive Office for Immigration Review, which administers the immigration courts, is also an agency within the Justice Department. The current attorney general is Loretta Lynch.

Sessions has a documented history of making racist remarks, and recently he opposed the latest version of the Violence Against Women Act due to the protections it extended to undocumented women and lesbians who had been abused. Sessions has ardently opposed immigration, under the pretense of protecting the interests of American workers.

Below is a statement from Marielena Hincapié, executive director of the National Immigration Law Center Immigrant Justice Fund. Hincapié wrote an op-ed last year about Sessions’ disingenuous comments about the American worker.

“The position of attorney general is the most important protector of our hard-fought civil rights. Those who make flattering remarks about the KKK, even supposedly in jest, have no business being appointed to protect the rights of Americans.

“Under Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions has been pushed from the fringe into the center of American politics. As a result, women, immigrants, the Black community, the LGBTQ community, and anyone who cares about justice and equality for all are being pushed out. This most recent appointment should send chills down the spines of all Americans.

“We must all stand together to defend our Constitution and all communities. We vigorously oppose this appointment and urge the Senate to swiftly reject Sessions, whose extremist views threaten to roll back the clock on civil rights for all.”

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“The Art of the Deal” Coauthor Tony Schwartz and National Civil Rights and Immigration Advocacy Groups Call for End to Hate and Path Toward Healing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oct. 4, 2016

CONTACT
Gebe Martinez, gebe.gmnetworking@gmail.com, 703-731-9505
Betsy Harbison, betsy.harbison.saleem@gmail.com, 407-782-9268

WASHINGTON — Tony Schwartz, who coauthored “The Art of the Deal” with Donald Trump, and national leaders from the Muslim, civil rights, and immigrant communities on Tuesday called for an end to the politics of division that has whipped up fear and hate of immigrants and communities of color.

With the Nov. 8 election only five weeks away, the organizations called on all candidates and office-holders to break their silence and condemn the political rhetoric that has unleashed prejudice and hate across the country, and urged voters to demand unity and renewed efforts toward racial healing.

Joining Schwartz were Marielena Hincapié, executive director of National Immigration Law Center – Immigrant Justice Fund (NILC-IJF); Linda Sarsour, cofounder and director of MPower Change; Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Cristina Jimenez,cofounder and director of United We Dream Action; and Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition and organizer of Coalition Against Hate.

Schwartz coauthored Trump’s biography by closely observing him, and began speaking out against Trump after watching the businessman call Mexicans criminals and rapists during the first speech of his presidential campaign. Since then, Trump’s divisive rhetoric has only become more heated.

Schwartz announced today that he will donate approximately $55,000 to the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund, and he challenged Trump to do the same.

“I felt especially motivated to give the royalties I earned from ‘The Art of the Deal’ to the National Immigration Law Center and its Immigrant Justice Fund for their work in coalition with organizations that not only fight against discrimination and division, but also for something beyond their own immediate constituencies. Never in my lifetime has this country been more polarized, and never has the need for reconciliation, understanding, and acceptance of differences been more important,” Schwartz said.

“I’m here today because I believe that the appeal to fear and prejudice that we’ve seen during this campaign—to narrow self-interest at the expense of our collective shared interest—puts the future of our country at risk,” Schwartz added.

“We will not stand by and watch our country’s values of equality, fairness, and freedom be taken hostage,” said Hincapié. “While each of us represents particular constituencies, we are joining forces because the future of our country is at risk. We stand together for all Americans.”

Sarsour, a leading advocate in the Muslim community, said, “This election has been about Muslims without Muslims. The proposals to ban Muslims, register us in databases, spy on our religious institutions, along with the rise of hate crimes against Muslims has emboldened us to ensure unprecedented turnout in key swing states. We will send a strong message against hate in November and recommit to the important work ahead post-election.”

Henderson, of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, noted Trump’s proposals would deny basic rights to the communities that are fighting back. “This is a man who made his political debut by popularizing the racist birther myth as a way of denying the legitimacy of our nation’s first Black president. This is a man who, in advance of the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, has actively encouraged his supporters to intimidate voters on Election Day in ‘certain areas’ of Pennsylvania,” Henderson said. “We will not let this presidential campaign take us back to our nation’s darkest days.”

Jimenez added that communities of color feel the impact of Trump’s “law and order” vision of the world. Her own brother was accosted by the police who, under the guise of “stop and frisk,” detained him when he was only 12 years old.

“Whether along the border or in our cities, Trump’s vision of ‘law and order’ is one where people of color, black men, immigrants, and women have no power and are kept living in fear at the barrel of a gun. But I have a message for Donald Trump and the immigration agents who crave the unlimited power he’s promised them: We are here to stay. In Homestead, Florida, a city crawling with immigration agents, my friend Juan Carlos is organizing for justice. In North Carolina and New York and New Mexico and Houston and Colorado, immigrant youth and people of color are stopping deportations, staring injustice in the face, and saying, ‘aquí estamos y no nos vamos’—‘this is our home, and we are here to stay.’ We are ready to fight, and you know what else? The millions of voters in our communities are going to vote.”

Nogales, of the Coalition Against Hate, said the communities must respond to the lasting harm created by the hate speech, and the coalition will hold accountable political leaders and the news media that advances misinformation and bias.

“Together, the Coalition Against Hate will meet with news media network executives to make sure that our voices are heard over the rhetoric that misinforms, prejudices, and energizes those who would commit violent hate crimes,” Nogales said. “It is infecting our workplaces, classrooms and homes, and we are joining groups that represent women, people of color, LGBT individuals, and people of every faith and walk of life to say enough is enough. It’s high time we restore a civility to our public discourse that accurately represents and respects all people.”

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