NCLR Is Officially UnidosUS: This week, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, announced it will change its name to UnidosUS. The announcement was made at the close of its Annual Conference, where thousands of national and community leaders gathered for this significant moment in the organization’s 49-year history. “Unidos” is the Spanish-language word for “united;” the new brand spotlights the organization’s commitment to uniting all communities across the United States, reflects its history and role in uniting diverse communities, and reinforces Latinos’ role as a unifying force.
UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía stated, “we are excited to announce that we are now UnidosUS. As we have over the course of the past 49 years, we will continue embracing change and ensuring that our organization is evolving and addressing the critical needs of the Latino community. In unity there is strength, and in strength there is power. Unidos is a call to action for all Latinos, but also signals a message for others to join us and to come together united in the best interest of the country and all Americans.” Make sure to visit our website at unidosus.org and check out a video from Janet below:
NCLR Celebrates Anniversaries of Historic Plyler v. Doe Decision and Announcement of DACA: This week NCLR marked the historic decision handed down 35 years ago in Plyler v. Doe, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that ensured equal access to a free public education for all children in the United States, regardless of immigration status. The Supreme Court found that denying children a public education based on immigration status not only violates the U.S. Constitution, but also jeopardizes any future contributions these children may make in helping the nation advance. NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía recognized the historic decision as vital to opening doors of opportunity: “The Supreme Court decision 35 years ago confirms what we already know—education is an investment in a better America for all. Plyler v. Doe ensures that all children in America have a constitutional guarantee of an education. As the next generation of children enter America’s public schools, this critical pathway to success must be protected.”
This week also marked the 5-year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). “The road to a better America begins with education and opportunity. That’s why we support Plyler v. Doe and DACA, and the future they offer to millions of children and youth across the nation,” stated Janet Murguía.
NCLR denounces Trump’s slash and burn budget:This week, the administration released its budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018. The proposed budget eliminates $1.7 trillion in funding that provides basic living standards to millions of Americans, gutting key programs and assistance that help families afford food, housing and health care. At the same time, the administration is asking for an increase of $4.5 billion (in addition to the existing $19 billion in immigration enforcement each year) to implement the President’s Executive Orders that expand a deportation force that has ripped families and communities apart. In a press release, NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía stated, “With this budget, the administration is proposing taking food off the tables of American families, taking health coverage from those who need it most, and relegating education to the bottom of the priorities list, all while helping the wealthy get wealthier and unnecessarily directing billions more to mass deportations designed to split families apart and leave millions of citizen children destitute.”
NCLR releases new report on financial inclusion: This week NCLRreleased a new report,Small Dollars for Big Change: Immigrant Financial Inclusion and Access to Credit, which explores the linkages between immigration legal services and financial products to finance fees for applications such as DACA, family petitions, and naturalization. The report highlights potential solutions to help immigrants who are ready to adjust their status but need help financing the process with small-dollar credit options. The report discusses innovative solutions for increasing immigrant financial inclusion and promising approaches to expand the availability of small-dollar credit products that are mainstream and affordable instead of predatory.
Texas’ S.B. 4 is a License to Discriminate:This past Sunday in the shadow of night, Governor Greg Abbott of Texas signed into law SB4 which would go into effect in September. The legislation, opposed by a host of police chiefs from all over Texas, calls on law enforcement to inquire about immigration status in traffic stops and other interactions, allows police officers to question children about immigration status, and mandates fines and jail time for elected officials and law enforcement who fail to comply with the discriminatory law, even though it may make them complicit in violating constitutional safeguards. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it has the spirit of previous racial profiling bills passed in Alabama, Arizona and other states where taxpayers bore the burden of litigation. NCLR joined the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights (LCCHR), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ), Mi Familia Vota, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Urban League (NUL) in a press conference denouncing the legislation. Janet Murguía, President and CEO, NCLR, said, “Gov. Abbott’s action is reckless and irresponsible. S.B.4 represents a false promise to those looking for real solutions on immigration. Rather than solving anything, this deeply troubling and unconstitutional legislation will jeopardize the civil rights of millions of Texans, nearly half of whom are Hispanic, and undermine public safety in communities across the state. As an organization that works to protect and defend America’s Latino community and uphold the core values of this nation, NCLR condemns this new law and others like it, and the bigotry and intolerance they represent.”
This week in immigration: NCLR on the first 100 days; May Day we rise up; Texas legislature passes SB 4; and NCLR participated in the New Americans Campaign conference.
NCLR reflects on the first 100 days of the administration: NCLR released a video statement by NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía regarding the first 100 days of the Trump administration and its effects on the Latino community. In the video, Janet highlights the importance of community solidarity throughout the first 100 days and notes that the president’s attitude towards Latinos has been one of continued attacks.
Janet’s take on the first 100 days was also included in a piece in the Kansas City Star. She notes that the Trump administration has continued to antagonize the Latino community and the president “puts every undocumented immigrant at risk of deportation, even though 97 percent of them pose no threat. And he threatens to force 24 million people to live without health coverage.” The president’s actions in the first 100 days continued a pattern of stirring divisiveness and fear, Janet notes in an op-ed for Univision.