Follow these steps to properly fill out a DACA renewal
Now entering its fourth year, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has changed the lives of the 728,285 people who have received temporary protected status and work permits. And when it’s time to renew, it’s best to start the process early before your work permit expires.
Follow these steps from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to ensure that your DACA renewal process goes smoothly: Continue reading →
This week in immigration: Congressman Grijalva introduces resolution condemning 1996 immigration law; 177 organizations call on DOJ to provide counsel for children in immigration proceedings; op-ed describes how Texas benefits if DAPA is implemented.
CONGRESSMAN GRIJALVA INTRODUCES RESOLUTION CONDEMNING 1996 IMMIGRATION LAW: This week, Representative Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-3) along with 30 Representatives introduced a congressional resolution calling for immigration policies that reduce automatic deportation and detention, restore due process for immigrants, and repeal unnecessary barriers to legal immigration. The “Fix96 Resolution” marks 20 years since the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act were signed into law in 1996, dramatically broadening and easing deportation and detainment requirements, removing legal defenses and involving local law enforcement. Vox writes an excellent description of the impact of the 1996 laws on today’s immigration system and its impact on families.
This week in immigration: NCLR rallies with immigration advocates on steps of Supreme Court and what could happen next in U.S. v Texas
NCLR rallies on Supreme Court steps for administrative relief: NCLR staff members joined thousands of advocates and NCLR Affiliates for a rally on the steps of the Supreme Court in support of the President’s executive actions on immigration on Monday as the justices heard arguments in the U.S. v Texas case. Attendees heard from families and Congressional representatives, as well as NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía, about the need for administrative relief and the effects on American communities. “The presence of thousands of people at the Supreme Court today demonstrates both how many families are impacted by this needless delay and how important it is to let these programs go forward, not only to our community, but also to our economy and our country,” said Ms. Murguía in a statement. “Presidents on both sides of the aisle, on many occasions, have set a clear precedentfor the use of executive action to shield people from deportations. We hope and expect that reason and precedent win the day.” Media and highlights from the rally can be found in our blog post and on our website.
This week in immigration: NCLR Latino Voter Summit prepares Affiliates for November elections; NCLR joins amicus brief in support of administrative relief; and NCLR Capital Awards honor individuals for their work promoting policies that benefit Latinos and the country.
NCLR Affiliates push for administrative relief during annual Latino voter summit: 250 Latino leaders from 25 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico spent time in town this week collaborating on voter engagement strategies for the upcoming elections at NCLR’s Latino Voter Summit. At the event, administrative relief received recognition as a top priority for Latino voters this November. “It was inspiring to come together with our community leaders in committing to do everything in our power to raise our community’s voice. This is no ordinary election, and an extraordinary effort is required to ensure that changes happen,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía, in a statement. “Our nation needs to focus on initiatives vital to our future and our prosperity, including the economy and jobs, education, immigration reform, health care, criminal justice reform, and housing.”
NCLR also released the results of a poll of key Latino influencers during a Capitol Hill forum titled “Voices from Latino Community Influencers: Taking the Pulse of the Latino Vote.” The poll’s results solidified the importance of immigration reform, with respondents rating reform as the single most important issue facing the Latino community. The poll also found that 72% think Washington lawmakers do a bad job of taking the Latino community perspective into account when they pass laws and debate issues. Check out our blog post for highlights of the Latino Voter Summit.
NCLR joins amicus brief in support of administrative relief: NCLR joined 325 immigrants’ rights, civil rights, labor, and service-provider organizations in submitting an amicus brief supporting the president’s executive actions on immigration. The brief calls on the Supreme Court to affirm the President’s executive action, which would provide administrative relief to an estimated five million individuals currently residing in the United States. “The court should affirm that Republican and Democratic presidents alike have used their authority throughout the last half century to shield groups from unnecessary deportations,” said Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR, in a press release. “Allowing DAPA and expanded DACA to move forward will strengthen our country by protecting families and increasing their contributions to the economy by tens of billions of dollars.” Current and former members of Congress, business leaders, child advocacy groups, DACA recipients, LGBTQ groups, and over 100 cities and counties also were among those who filed briefs, showing clearly that there is widespread, bipartisan support for the administration’s immigration initiatives.
NCLR Capital Awards honor individuals for education and humanitarian work: The 29th Annual NCLR Capital Awards gala this week recognized elected officials who played a key part in promoting legislation and public policies that benefit Hispanic Americans. Among those honored were Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) for their leadership in passing the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This legislation has a major impact on Latino and immigrant communities, as it provides accountability provisions for schools with students learning English. “NCLR, our Affiliates and countless other advocates worked with these two senators who led bipartisan cooperation on this bill, which could fundamentally improve the way children all across the nation—including for the first time English learners—are performing academically,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía, in a statement. “We are grateful for Senators Alexander and Murray’s tireless efforts to enact ESSA into law.” During this year’s ceremony, Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D–N.Y.) also received special recognition for her leadership in advancing a solution to Puerto Rico’s financial and humanitarian crisis. Velázquez has authored numerous bills designed to help ease the island’s debt woes and has been outspoken in calling on Washington to address the crisis.
Additionally, Sister Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, received the 2016 Capital Award for Public Service for her work with Central American refugees. Following the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children and families fleeing violence in Central America in 2014, Sister Pimentel worked to provide relief for these individuals by opening a center for families in need of shelter, food, clothing, and medical care. Since the summer of 2014, the relief center has helped care for over 20,000 individuals.
NCLR President and CEO, Janet Murguía, used her address at the gala to denounce Donald Trump’s nativism and demagoguery that “fly in the face of American values.” She addressed our community saying, “We must not stand idly by while others define us. We must define ourselves. We will not be demonized. We will not be a punching bag. And we must use the power of our voice and vote to punch back.” You can read the full text of her remarks here, and you can watch it below.
This week in immigration: New poll shows support for administrative relief; our colleagues at America’s Voice provide a primer on judicial standing; and NCLR Affiliate TODEC reflects on passage of AB 60 in California.
Reuters polls shows support president’s administrative relief measures: A new poll released this week by Reuters and Ipsos finds yet again that a majority of Americans support the actions taken by President Obama to provide administrative relief. 61 percent of Americans support the plan to provide a reprieve from deportation for some of the 11.3 undocumented immigrants currently in the country, including 42 percent of Republicans and 78 percent of Democrats. This poll comes on the heels of last week’s announcement that the Supreme Court will hear the case surrounding President Obama’s executive action on immigration, which would provide relief for an estimated 4 million undocumented immigrants.
Editorials questions validity of administrative relief lawsuit: With oral arguments expected in the spring in the United States v. Texas case, numerous media outlets have voiced support for President Obama’s administrative relief plans. America’s Voice provided an analysis of the state of Texas’s legal standing to sue the United States over the President’s executive action. The analysis argues that the legal standing is questionable at best, given the Supreme Court’s precedent of allowing the President broad authority when it comes to immigration enforcement.
Additionally, an op-ed in the New York Timescalls the claims made by the 26 states taking part in the lawsuit “groundless” and says states should never have been allowed to sue in the first place. “Texas claims that it has that right [to sue] simply because it thinks the president’s orders would harm its economy,” writes the Times. “If the court were to accept this kind of claim, it would mean that any time a state or city opposed a federal action, it could drag that political dispute into the courts.”
NCLR Affiliate, TODEC, on the implementation of California law AB 60: California celebrated the one-year anniversary of the passage of AB 60 in California, which authorizes driver licenses for undocumented immigrants. In a blog post, Luz Gallegos, Community Programs Director for the Training Occupational Development Educating Communities Legal Center (TODEC), reflected on the fight to pass the measure, saying, “Once AB 60 passed, one of the sheriffs in an area we serve said that his department wouldn’t respect the law, but through building relationships and sitting down and discussing our constituents’ side, he finally agreed that he would uphold the law and allow his officers to do so as well.” Founded 31 years ago, TODEC is an NCLR Affiliate that advocates for immigrants’ rights in California’s Inland Empire.
This week in immigration reform: celebration of DACA’s anniversary; economic and electoral impact of deferred action; and lessons learned on how to appeal to the Latino community.
NCLR, Members of Congress, and Community Activists Celebrate three-year anniversary of live-changing DACA program: This Monday marked the third anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has helped over 650,000 aspiring Americans work toward the American dream. Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR (National Council of La Raza), highlighted the success of the program, saying, “Living without the constant fear of deportation empowers more people to pursue higher education, enter the workforce, contribute to our economy and create a brighter future for this nation. DACA has been one of the only successful and sensible immigration policies to come out of Washington in decades.”
NCLR has been producing a blog series titled “Living the American DREAM,” telling the stories of hard-working DREAMers. In celebration of DACA, we compiled the series into a publication to show the human element of immigration and the need for reform. This week, Congressman Cuellar (D-Texas) and Congressman Tonko (D-N.Y.) tweeted our blog sharing the story of DREAMer Katherine Perez.
Many Members of Congress shared DACA stories on the floor this week, including Senator Kaine (D-Va.), who shared the story of Hareth Andrade (included in our publication), and Senator Schumer (D-N.Y.). Congressmen Costa (D-Calif.), Polis (D-Colo.), Hoyer (D-Md.), and Cardenas (D-Calif.) spoke on the House floor and their colleagues in the Senate joined them with speeches by Senators Heinrich (D-N.M.), Murray (D-Wash.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Reid (D-Nev.), and Menendez (D-N.J.).
Follow NCLR on Twitter @NCLR and on Facebook for updates on congressional floor speeches, DACA facts, shareable graphics, and informative videos.
New reports demonstrate economic and electoral impact of deferred action programs: This week the Center for American Progress updated a previous report on the national economic benefits of expanded DACA and DAPA that showed DACA, expanded DACA, and DAPA would grow the US economy by $230 billion over 10 years. The new interactive report posted this week shows state-level benefits for 37 states and Washington, DC. Texas, which is currently leading the charge to end the deferred action programs, would benefit the most from the programs, with an estimated $38,271,000,000 cumulative increase in state GDP. Of all 26 states who are suing the Obama Administration to eliminate expanded DACA and DAPA, CAP has state-level data for 18 of them. In total, those 18 states would see a cumulative increase in GDP of almost $92 billion.
President Obama’s deferred action programs would have a significant economic impact on states, but they also have political and electoral implications. A piece written by Latino Decisions outlines the impact of DACA, including its rise as a litmus test for candidates on immigration reform and the boost original DACA gave to President Obama en route to reelection.
Former Romney campaign staffer warns GOP of past missteps: In a piece published in Politico, Katie Packer Gage, deputy campaign manager of Mitt Romney’s bid for the presidency in 2012, reflects on how rhetoric on immigration during the GOP primary harmed the party in the general election. Gage cites research from her firm that found hardline immigration positions cost more general elections votes for a candidate than they earn in the primary. Gage writes:
Voters under age 35 and college-educated white women are most turned off by the hottest anti-immigrant rhetoric. Since Hillary Clinton has the clearest path to the Democratic nomination, Republicans can’t afford to surrender a single vote in these groups, which President Barack Obama won handily, without a fight. They will be pivotal to winning the White House next year.
The numbers don’t lie. To grow our party — and win the White House in November 2016 and beyond — Republican candidates need to resist the temptation to characterize one another as soft on immigration.
Instead, they should stake out specific, realistic, pro-immigration reform plans that demonstrate to all voters the Republican Party’s commitment to making the American Dream a reality for all.
On the odd chance that you’re looking for a case study in how to ignore facts and turn a heartbreaking situation for millions of American families into a juvenile BuzzFeed rip-off, you’re in luck. Yesterday, the House Judiciary Committee showed everybody just how out of touch with reality they are by posting this asinine “press release,” which relies on tired misrepresentations about the Obama administration’s track record on immigration, wrapped in adorable gifs from your favorite teen movies.
A screen shot of the House Judiciary Committee website.
Sound the alarm, because according to the post, President Obama has stopped enforcing immigration laws. This is, of course, the same president who has spent more on immigration enforcement than any other president in history. The same president was prompted to act and bring sanity to the immigration system only after giving Congress ample time to deliver bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform, which passed in the Senate and stalled in—wait for it—the House of Representatives.
The House Judiciary Committee says we need “innovative solutions” to fix the country’s immigration system, and it’s prepared to tackle them one at a time. What do those solutions look like? They look like another version of the SAFE Act, a bill that would essentially make racial profiling the law of the land, allowing state and local authorities to pick up, arrest, and detain people who “look illegal.” If you think that sounds like a law that would lead to civil rights violations, you’d be right. Just ask Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the poster child for these policies, who was slapped with a court ruling determining that this approach produces widespread patterns of racial profiling and discrimination.
The House Judiciary Committee also says that we need to tackle the matter of asylum seekers from other countries, like the pressing issue of children fleeing violence from Central America. Showing unwavering empathy for these victims of violence, their solution is, naturally, to make it more difficult for children who are trying to escape violent countries to seek haven in the United States. They did, however, have time to pass a bill that would allow families being persecuted for homeschooling their children to seek asylum here. Let’s hope the countries around the world we chastise for unfair treatment of asylees and refugees weren’t watching.
These issues may be funny to the House Judiciary Committee, so much so that they wasted part of their day finding their favorite Bring It On gifs to illustrate their amusement. But to Latinos in this country, the committee’s combined inability to put forward viable solutions on immigration reform, and penchant for passing bills that deliberately target our community, is downright offensive. One in six people in this country are Latino. And one in 10 Latinos, including citizens and legal immigrants alike, report being stopped each year based on suspicion of immigration status. Are we a nation that tolerates laws that will legitimize and expand racial profiling and trample on all Americans’ civil liberties? Are we a nation that simply ships scared children straight into the throes of violence? Are we a nation that would rather continue to tear families apart needlessly, when we have a clear path forward in our hands?
To the majority leading the show in the House Judiciary Committee, we suggest that if you indeed want to “preserve the rule of law and protect the integrity of our generous immigration system,” then maybe it’s time to get to work on comprehensive immigration reform, rather than cobbling together insulting lists that mock the heartbreak that millions of American families, particularly the Latino community, feel every day thanks to the nation’s broken immigration system.
Last night, President Obama joined MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart for an immigration town hall. The president answered some tough questions from Diaz-Balart and the audience and reiterated his defense of his administrative relief. Watch the full video below.
The president’s sixth State of the Union address to Congress last night was heavy on the actions our country should take to build on the progress that American families have made over the past two years, thanks to a recovering economy. In a statement today, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía called on policymakers to continue expanding opportunities for hardworking families and protect programs that have improved the lives of millions of Latinos.
“We implore lawmakers to pursue a legislative agenda that will continue to secure the economic futures of all Americans, including Latinos, by promoting policies that help create quality jobs, ensure our workforce has the necessary training and education available to compete in the 21st-century job market, protect vital tax credits for working families, and open up credit access to qualified home-buyers,” said Murguía.
A number of policy proposals aimed at improving conditions for working families were announced in the days leading up to the State of the Union address. Among them is a plan to extend tax credits to middle- and low-income families. We strongly support this much-needed change in policy that will surely help many more Americans reach their full potential.
Murguía also expressed support for President Obama’s proposal to cut fees on Federal Housing Administration loans, which would enable more first-time homebuyers to purchase a house. On the education front, the president further outlined his plan to make higher education more affordable for millions of hardworking students. This is especially crucial for Latinos. Our community has seen significant increases in high school graduation and college enrollment rates, but more must be done to guarantee that quality higher education remains affordable and accessible for everyone.
“Pursuing policies that open opportunities and provide Americans with the tools to achieve their dreams is not a Republican or Democratic ideal—it is an American ideal,” said Murguía. “We echo the president’s call for both parties to work together so they can find common ground to continue moving this country forward.”
President Obama also addressed the Affordable Care Act, emphasizing his administration’s success in enrolling more Americans. At NCLR, we have been actively working with our Affiliate Network and other national organizations in mobilizing and enrolling as many Latinos as possible in health insurance. In fact, over the past year, nearly seven million people have signed up for coverage, resulting in a significant drop in uninsured Hispanics.
On administrative relief, one of the most significant policy changes for nearly five million immigrants, the president defended his action and vowed to veto any bill that would undo it.
“We are pleased to hear the president reiterate his plans to defend administrative relief regardless of any attempts by Congress to backtrack on this issue. His executive action will make our economy stronger, our country safer, and millions of American families more stable,” said Murguía. “The new Congress now has a choice to make on immigration—improve the situation, or make it worse. We hope they’ll choose to be agents of progress by finally delivering sensible and effective immigration legislation.”