‘We need to get DREAMers legislation DONE!’

UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía joined U.S. Representative Steny H. Hoyer for a Facebook Live talk on the current state of the fight for a DREAM Act Now.

Today our President and CEO Janet Murguía joined Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland to update our community on where things stand in Congress regarding legislation to protect DREAMers.

The fight has been long and hard, and we still have much to do. But we are in a better place than we have been in quite some time.

We are closer than ever to getting legislation that permanently protects DREAMers. This is an issue that has broad support from both parties. Indeed, the Dream Act has bipartisan co-sponsors and enough votes to pass easily if brought to a vote today.

But January is the last chance for Congress to take action before tens of thousands of DREAMers lose their ability to live, work, and contribute to the only country they know.

View the full video of the Facebook Live session below:

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Trump Administration Request to Fund Border Wall Is Un-American

It’s official: the president has made his supplemental budget request and submitted to Congress his first budget to fund his wall on our country’s southern border. And with the supplemental at $3 billion, taxpayers would be on the hook to fund the wall, a deportation force, border patrol agents, and detention facilities.

The budget request is meant to fund the strategy behind the three executive orders on immigration that led up to the president’s request today. Those orders created a ban on refugees and Muslims, authorized a new deportation force and new detention camps for asylum-seeking families, and a large-scale increase in border resources.

One thing is clear: Congress has the power to say NO. Without approval from Congress, the president cannot fully implement his anti-immigrant agenda

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Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration are an Attack on American Values

It’s only day five of the Trump administration, but the president has already put the wheels in motion for immigration policies that further seek to divide us and demonize immigrants. The president signed two executive orders today that established his plan to move forward with building a wall on the U.S.-Mexican border, ramp up deportations, and go after cities that refuse to transform their local law enforcement into immigration agents.

“Rather than provide real solutions, President Trump has decided to trigger greater chaos and fear, set in motion a mass deportation force, bully cities that refuse to indiscriminately persecute immigrant communities, and waste billions on a wall,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía. “None of these actions will fix anything, but will devastate our economy and the social fabric of our country.”

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Standing Strong Against Violence and Hate

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Words matter. It’s a fact that has been highlighted in this election and its aftermath, as the Latino community, immigrants, and other minority groups have been the target of divisive and hateful rhetoric that has not ceased after polls closed on Nov. 8.

That’s why we joined the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and other organizations this week to call for President-elect Donald Trump to protect and defend all Americans and condemn the violence and hate.

“President-elect Trump needs to reassure—or at the very least address—the fears of the communities of which he will now be president,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía in a press conference that unveiled two important reports published by the SPLC. The reports document the concerning pattern of hate incidents and bullying cases that have occurred across the country in the days after the election.

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Is Brown the New White?

By Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR

BrownNewWhiteAt a time when we’re being assaulted by new levels of hate, intolerance, and bigotry in our political campaigns, an important new book, Brown is the New White: How the Demographic Revolution Has Created a New American Majority, points the way toward a more inclusive, just, and fair society. Written by Steve Phillips, a veteran social justice activist and founder of PowerPAC+, Brown is the New White argues that a “new American majority” composed of progressive people of color and Whites is already a demographic reality. He cautions correctly, though, that this potential alliance is not yet a political reality. That would require—and is still awaiting—an affirmative effort to be mobilized and realized by increasing “cultural competence” and making wiser electoral investments.

Phillips’ book makes several critical contributions to public discourse on the subject. Through rigorous analysis of the country’s changing demographics, Phillips shows that the combined potential voting power of progressive people of color and Whites is already an effective working majority. He carefully studies Blacks, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Arab Americans, demonstrating that they share many common interests with each other and with many White Americans.

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Google Says “No More” to Online Payday Lender Ads

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Payday photo: Payday Loans

Google is the latest enterprise to join the growing chorus of civil rights, consumer, and faith groups concerned with how payday lending companies carry out their lending practices. In a landmark decision today, the technology giant announced that it will ban ads featuring payday lenders. The decision comes just as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepares to issue regulations that would seriously reign in these lenders.

As we have highlighted in our blog series, “Truth in Payday Lending: Stories from Latino Borrowers,” payday lending industry practices have wreaked havoc on millions of consumers. The unsafe financial products they peddle trap consumers, many of them Latino, in a vicious debt cycle that is difficult to get out of.

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Our Fellow Americans in Puerto Rico Deserve Action

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Puerto Rican flags are waved as Members of Congress call on their colleagues to take action on Puerto Rico’s looming debt crisis.

Three and a half million Puerto Ricans are witnessing their economy slide toward default. This past summer, Puerto Rican Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla declared that the commonwealth’s debt was “not payable.” While Obama administration officials have taken steps toward mitigating the situation, Congress, which is primarily responsible for resolving the issue, has left calls to address the looming debt crisis unanswered.

Yesterday, NCLR joined several legislators and other civil rights groups for a National Day of Action for Puerto Rico. Together with Latino leaders and allies, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía called on Congress to take real action to assist Puerto Rico in resolving its debt.

“It is long past time for the Republican leadership in Congress to step up and make the essential changes to policy that will help resolve this crisis,” Murguía said. “They need to show our fellow Americans, many of whom have served or have had family members serve this country proudly in the U.S. armed forces, that they are not forgotten.”

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NCLR President Janet Murguía at the Puerto Rico Day of Action on Capitol Hill.

Most aspects of life for the 3.5 million people on the island have been affected. Jobless rates are soaring, the quality of education has dipped, and health care infrastructure is crumbling. Yet despite the enormity of the impact of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis on our fellow Americans who live there, the crisis has not received the level of attention merited. The Obama administration has outlined a proposal to soften the economic ordeal, but congressional partisanship has kept legislators from taking any actionable steps.

“We cannot stand by and let so many continue to suffer the consequences of this fiscal crisis—it goes against our nation’s values to sit idly while so many of our own see their lives turned upside down by circumstances totally out of their control,” Murguía said.

NCLR will continue to work with its nearly 300 Affiliate groups across the country, many of whom work with the Puerto Rican community on the mainland, to help mitigate the effects of the crisis on those here and to press for the changes where they are needed: in Congress. To allow the situation to worsen is to turn our backs on American citizens in dire need of assistance.