Week Ending October 16
This week in immigration reform: NCLR expresses disappointment following Trump ‘SNL’ announcement; NCLR Affiliate highlights unaccompanied migrants; Calls for the court to act on immigration executive action; and Senate to begin debate on “sanctuary cities.”
NCLR Statement: Trump Hosting ‘SNL’ a “Slap in the Face”: NCLR spoke out about the announcement that Donald Trump will be hosting an upcoming episode of “Saturday Night Live” (SNL), calling the decision a “slap in the face” to Hispanic viewers. “This is not about lacking a sense of humor. Everyone knows that SNL is not just a comedy show. For the last 40 years, it has become a highly coveted platform for candidates from political parties who are looking to reach and connect with the American public. It is appalling, then, that a show with that history and that role to showcase a man whose campaign has been built on bigotry and demagoguery for the sake of buzz and ratings. NBC made the right decision last June to sever its ties with Trump over his blatantly anti-Latino campaign announcement. Since then he has only gotten worse and more divisive, so this change of heart is even more troubling,” stated Janet Murguía, President and CEO of NCLR.
“It is especially galling that this golden opportunity for Trump to mainstream his message of hate has come from a show that in its 40 year history has had just two Hispanic cast members, has never had a Latina cast member on the show yet has consistently engaged in Latina stereotyping over the years, and has brushed aside our community’s concerns when we have pointed that out. This is a slap in the face to the millions of Hispanic viewers who watch SNL, NBC, and the rest of the NBC/Universal family. We urge that SNL and NBC re-consider this ill-advised decision,” concluded Murguía.
Calls for Court Decision on Immigration Executive Action: Calling attention to the stalled court decision over President Obama’s executive action on immigration, nine activists are fasting outside an appeals court in New Orleans. The case was originally filed in December 2014, when Texas and 25 other states filed suit against Obama’s action providing deportation relief to several million undocumented immigrants, and a temporary injunction blocking the action’s implementation was issued in February. No ruling has been made since the court heard the arguments in July.
The Los Angeles Times editorial board wrote a piece on the stalled decision this week, saying “Obama’s executive actions are withering not on their legal merits but because of the calendar.” The editorial argues that the case is still pending because of the timing associated with an expected appeal to the Supreme Court if the current injunction is upheld. “Is the 5th Circuit willfully slow-walking this decision with its eye on the calendar? The court already considered the core arguments before denying the emergency stay in May. Or is the case really that complicated? Only the judges know. Regardless, this is not how justice is reached. The 5th Circuit needs to move this case along without delay. It would be unacceptable if the president’s executive actions are stalled not because of a legitimate legal challenge but because the wheels of justice turn too slowly.”
Senate Bill Threatening Community Trust Policies To Be Debated Next Week: Following months of internal Republican discord over mandatory minimums and other measures, the Senate is expected to begin debate on S. 2146, the “Stop Sanctuary Policies and Protect Americans Act.” As mentioned last week, this bill would withhold important funding sources from localities that establish community trust policies, while simultaneously establishing mandatory minimum prison sentences for illegal reentry offenses. In a letter circulated to Senate staff, NCLR strongly opposed the bill, saying it would “criminalize communities wholesale and undermine trust in local law enforcement.” In addition to NCLR, opposition to the legislation includes civil rights organizations, community development organizations, organizations that support survivors of domestic violence, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. The Chicago Sun-Times wrote an opinion piece opposing the legislation this week.
NCLR Affiliate Creates Photography Series About Unaccompanied Child Immigrants: CARECEN, the Central American Resource Center, partnered with the Washington Post to create “Unaccompanied,” an “audio-visual story of young immigrants in the Washington, D.C. area who were among the thousands of children seeking refuge from the violence of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.” The series profiles youth such as Gissell, who came from El Salvador at age 12 to reunite with her father. “At age 13, Gissell wants the chance to prove her worth in society. ‘I think it’s really important to tell our story,’ she says.” Per the article, “This project seeks to demonstrate the realities that youth immigrants face: the doubts, the aspirations, complexity and humanity of their experience.”