For Immediate Release
June 23, 2016
Initial Reaction from NDLON on Supreme Court Tie in US v. Texas
Los Angeles, CA -- In response to the Supreme Court's 4-4 tie in US v Texas, which preserves the district court's injunction of the President’s Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) program, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) issued the following immediate reactions.
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON responded:
“If DAPA was the President's 'Plan B' after a failed political strategy for comprehensive immigration reform, then it is incumbent on his administration to immediately announce their 'Plan C' after this setback. It will be fully unacceptable for the President to use this decision as an excuse for inaction in cleaning up the mess created by his brutal deportation policy.
“President Obama must use his remaining political capital to defend the rights of immigrants and refugees, and we will be looking to him for the type of leadership that we expected when he first took office.”
“Going forward, it is important to remember that it was grassroots, bottom-up pressure that compelled the President to act before, and the future will be no different. Immigrants must continue to organize in defense of our basic rights in the face of unprecedented nativism in the political sphere."
Chris Newman, NDLON’s Legal Director said:
“The 4-4 decision leaves unresolved outside of the Fifth Circuit the question of whether and how the President can provide work authorization for currently undocumented immigrants, but it does not impact the President's indisputable authority to reduce deportations, nor does it foreclose other forms of relief as a legal matter."
NDLON’s legal team, advocacy team, and a group of impacted Day Laborer spokespersons will be available for comment and interviews.
RESOURCES for reporters covering SCOTUS review of U.S. v. Texas
In the Midst of the Battle for DAPA
The Deporter-In-Chief v. 26 Nativist Governors & Attorneys-General (aka US v. Texas)
Reaction to House Vote to Submit Brief in US v. Texas
Reaction to Supreme Court Decision
NDLON's Si Se Puede Rule-Making Petition: A detailed explanation of the President's legal authority along with antecedent history in the campaign to persuade the President to take action to stop deportations
DHS Memo on DAPA & Expanded DACA
DHS Memo on New Deportation Priorities
For Immediate Release
April 18, 2016
NDLON: In the Midst of the Battle for DAPA
Los Angeles, CA & Washington, DC—In the wake of oral argument before the Supreme Court this morning in the case of U.S. v. Texas, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) representatives, Jessica Karp Bansal and Salvador G. Sarmiento, made the following statements:
Litigation Director, Jessica Karp Bansal
"It's a sign of how bad the immigration debate has become that this morning lawyers for the Obama Administration—which is responsible for more deportations than any other—were forced to defend the President's use of "discretion" in immigration enforcement before the nation's highest court against an attack from the right. At stake in the case is whether the President will be permitted to publicly acknowledge the existence, humanity, and civil rights of one portion of the millions of undocumented immigrants living and working in the United States by allowing them—at least temporarily—to come out of the shadows.
"In many ways, the President has created this dilemma himself. Had he not spent most of his presidency deporting as many people as possible in an ill-advised attempt to win Republican support for immigration reform, he would not now be in a battle to determine whether he will go down in history as the Deporter-in-Chief or be remembered for a more nuanced record."
National Campaign Coordinator, Salvador G. Sarmiento
"Sadly, in the midst of this fight for DAPA, the White House is still hanging on to its failed efforts to trade ramped-up enforcement against some immigrants in return for protection of others. As the Administration defended DAPA in Court this morning, ICE continues its offensive, targeting Central American refugees, immigrants that have lived and worked in the U.S. for decades, and—through the PEP-COMM jail deportation program—collaborating with the very states that are suing to prevent DAPA.
"As we call on the Justices to reject nativists' attempt to thwart progress on racial justice, we will continue to demand that the White House and DHS leadership come clean about their detention and deportation agenda, starting with its PEP-COMM jail deportation offensive and ending with taking ICE Out of every local jail in the U.S."
For Immediate Release
March 17, 2016
NDLON Reaction to House Vote to Submit Brief in US v. Texas
Washington, DC—In response to the U.S. House of Representatives' vote today to submit an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in US v. Texas, a case in which Texas and other states question President Obama's authority to grant deferred action for some undocumented immigrants, Jessica Karp Bansal, Litigation Director at the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON) made following statement:
"Today's vote has nothing to do with the Constitution and everything to do with the Republican Party's Trump-like strategy to build political power by fomenting anger, division, and xenophobia.
"It is hard to remember, but there was once a time when Congress actually passed legislation rather than devising ever more clever ways to politically attack the President. That prior legislation, along with the Constitution itself, clearly gives the Executive branch the authority to provide common sense protections for immigrants who are a fundamental part of our society and economy.
"Today's political stunt, and Speaker Ryan's laughable claim that it is about law rather than politics, shows only that House Republicans have reached a new low worthy of their Party's current front-running Presidential candidate."
For Immediate Release
March 10, 2016
NDLON: If Dems Had to Make Immigration Policy in the Light of Day, We Would be Dealing with a Different Beast
Los Angeles, CA—In response to candidates' commitments on immigration at the Democratic debate in Miami last night, National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) staff attorney, Emilou MacLean, made the following statement:
"Last night's debate makes clear that if Democrats had to make immigration policy in the light of day, in the public eye, we would be dealing with a different beast. Both candidates committed to limit deportations and reunify families broken up by our out-of-control deportation policy.
"The natural follow-up is why they have not denounced or endeavored to change the destructive deportation machine operating today? And will they embrace the position that those with a previous criminal conviction are worthy of a second chance, regardless of their immigration status? Distinguishing people with criminal convictions from those without is no less destructive of families and communities, and it must stop."
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2015
NDLON REACTION to 8-day Extension by U.S. Supreme Court
Los Angeles, CA—In response to the Supreme Court's decision to deny a thirty-day extension request by the 26 states blocking DAPA and DACA 2.0, which would have effectively "run out the clock", Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), made the following statement:
"The decision today appears to recognize the urgency of the situation, both for immigrants and for the country. Like the nativists in Congress blocking reform, the plaintiffs in this case seek to block progress by silencing immigrants and depriving them of political equality, but they will be on the losing side of history.
"The status quo is cruel, unjust, and discriminatory. We must continue to seek relief by every means available. No one at this point should be relying exclusively on Washington for relief. We must confront the unjust status quo at every detention center and locality where ICE has inserted its unconstitutional overreach.
"When the President was moved by communities across the country to take initial steps to stop deportations, the momentum did not come from Washington, DC, it came from the bottom up. Moving forward will be no different. It is time again for immigrants' voices to be heard."
** NDLON Legal Staff Available for Comment **
For background on the President's legal authority to advance DAPA,
See NDLON's "Si Se Puede" Rule-Making Petition from November 2014
For Immediate Release
Date: Friday, May 29, 2015
NDLON Calls for Explanation and Action from White House Following Decision to Delay Appeal
(Los Angeles)—In an article appearing in the New York Times today, anonymous sources in the Obama Administration offered a bizarre rationale for the decision not to pursue Supreme Court review of the 5th Circuit's denial of its stay motion. As Times reporter Michael Shear reported:
"[A]dministration officials on Wednesday said the decision not to ask the Supreme Court to allow the program to move forward immediately reflects a practical reality: Even if the justices had given the green light to begin implementing the program, the continuing legal fight would probably have scared away most of the undocumented immigrants who could apply for it."
Chris Newman, Legal Director at the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), issued the following statement in reaction:
"This excuse for not maximizing appeal opportunities appears to be false, misleading, and counterproductive, and we call for immediate clarification from the White House. If this is, in fact, the reason it did not pursue Supreme Court review at this stage, it should say so on the record so there can be accurate information conveyed to the millions of people whose lives are most impacted by the Obama Administration's repeated decision to delay- over several years- the use of authority it had since it entered office in 2009.
"To cite immigrant fear as an excuse for the Administration's flat-footed implementation and defense of DAPA is particularly ironic because the President's own unnecessarily harsh deportation policy, not the decision of the 5th Circuit, has instilled fear of and among immigrants. Indeed, the courageous leadership of undocumented migrants has been the single most powerful force compelling reform of the Obama Administration's unjust and discriminatory immigration policy, and the country has immigrants' courage to thank for defending cherished constitutional values.
"If the Obama Administration is genuinely concerned about allaying fear within the undocumented community, there are two steps it could take immediately. First, it could clarify that DHS will not deport, under any circumstances, people who would otherwise be eligible for DAPA. Such a clarification would not be inconsistent with the wrongheaded injunction recently upheld by the 5th Circuit. Second, the Administration should end, rather than rebrand, its disastrous Secure Communities deportation program which led to the Arizonfication of the country. It is now a fact acknowledged by both DHS and the President's own 21st Century Police Report that the decision to enlist police as enforcers of civil immigration law have caused distrust in law enforcement.
"We urge the White House to take every available opportunity to defend and expand protective policies announced on November 20, 2014."
For Immediate Release
May 27, 2015
TUSKEGEE, First City in Alabama to Enact an Immigrant TRUST Policy,
Reject Entanglement with Immigration Enforcement
Policy Advances Pres. Obama's Policing Task Force's Call to
"Decouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing"
TUSKEGEE, Alabama – Wednesday morning, Tuskegee government officials, civic leaders, and immigrant and civil rights advocates from across Alabama gathered at Tuskegee City Hall to announce a set of historic policies promoting inclusion, fair treatment for immigrants, and non-biased community policing.
On Tuesday, May 26th, the Tuskegee City Council passed a resolution declaring Tuskegee to be a welcoming city, barring discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, and immigration status, and calling on the police chief to establish a "TRUST" policy aimed at building trust between his department and the city's immigrant community.
Today, Chief Lester C. Patrick will announce his Department's plan to issue a general order that, like other immigrant "TRUST Act" policies enacted across the country, will prohibit the warrantless detention of individuals by the Tuskegee Police Department at the request of immigration authorities, and place sensible limits on the collaboration between his department and federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
"No resident or visitor of Tuskegee should fear that a routine interaction with our officers could lead to the drastic consequence of deportation," said Chief Patrick about the city's new policy. "Our job is to promote order and safety for all people in Tuskegee, no matter where you come from, and we're all more safe when residents don't fear the police."
"Tuskegee occupies a special place in history as a key location in the movement for the civil rights of African-Americans. We are committed to carrying that legacy forward by promoting fair and just treatment for all persons in our city, including our immigrant brothers and sisters," stated Mayor Johnny Ford.
Tuskegee's announcement comes only days after President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing released its final report, calling on the Obama Administration to "[d]ecouple federal immigration enforcement from routine local policing." The Task Force, which was convened in the wake of the events in Ferguson and across the nation, recommended that "[l]aw enforcement agencies should build relationships based on trust with immigrant communities" because "[t]his is central to overall public safety."
Mayor Ford stressed the importance of enacting an immigrant TRUST order in the midst of the national debate on police reform: "At a time when cities are deeply rethinking and reforming the relationship between community members and the police, it is important that we take into account our more recently-arrived residents of all ethnic and racial backgrounds."
"Misguided federal programs like Secure Communities, and its replacement Priority Enforcement Program (PEP), that co-opt local law enforcement agencies and local taxpayer dollars to identify, detain, and transfer individuals—many of whom have little or no criminal history—to ICE custody have destroyed immigrant communities' trust in law enforcement and incentivized racial profiling," stated Carlos Ramos, a Central Alabama resident and immigrant rights advocate. "People in my community are scared of any contact with the police, even if they are victims or witnesses of a crime. We need to work with our local officials to change that."
"These deportation dragnet programs, especially when they involve detention by local authorities, have also come under increasing constitutional scrutiny in the courts, leading over 250 localities from California to Georgia to enact TRUST policies like Tuskegee's," stated Jessica Vosburgh, Director of the Adelante Alabama Worker Center and Staff Attorney for the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON), which has advocated across the country for the disentanglement of local police from immigration enforcement.
"Four years ago, Alabama legislators enacted the infamous anti-immigrant law HB 56, which brought shame to our state, hurt our economy, cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, and fueled the separation of Alabama families," stated Frank Barragan, an organizer with the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice (ACIJ). "Today, the City of Tuskegee takes a historic step in the opposite direction—the direction of progress, unity, human rights and respect for the dignity of all persons. We call on other cities and counties in Alabama to follow Tuskegee's lead."
For Immediate Release
May 26, 2015
RELIEF WILL NOT BE HANDED DOWN FROM ABOVE
Los Angeles, CA---In response to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals denying the request for an emergency stay to lift the injunction blocking implementation of the President's affirmative relief programs, DAPA and DACA 2.0, representatives of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network (NDLON) made the following statements:
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director of NDLON made the following statement:
"While not unexpected, the decision today is a wakeup call for immigrants who thought that relief would be handed down from above. It will not. Both the laws on the books and the application of those laws by the Obama Administration are unjust, and the handpicked judges selected to initially review the case appeared to have their minds made up.
"As this case makes its way to the Supreme Court, we will continue to make our case in the court of public opinion. Millions of immigrants living and working in the US are being systematically deprived of rights afforded to previous generations, and the only way forward is on the same path that got us here. In the proudest tradition of the country, we must continue to organize and demand nothing less than full equality."
Jessica Bansal, NDLON Litigation Director reacted this way:
"We must recognize that today's court decision, disappointing as it is, still leaves the President with broad authority over deportation policy. In particular, the decision leaves untouched the President's power to suspend deportations and end the unjust separation of families. We call on President Obama to immediately act on that power by halting all deportations until the day when our broken immigration system can be replaced by humane, rational policies that recognize the value and humanity of our immigrant community members."
NDLON representatives available for comment:
Pablo Alvarado, Executive Director
Chris Newman, Legal Director
Jessica Bansal Karp, Litigation Director