The Looming Immigration Disaster We Can Avoid

The administration’s new immigration executive orders will result in disaster. Our President and CEO, Janet Murguía, made the case for why in a Washington Post op-ed this week.

While the courts have effectively stalled the failed initial executive order rolled out just days after his inauguration, nobody should be fooled in believing that the pending new order will do anything but put a target on the backs of Latinos all over the country.

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This Week In Immigration Reform — Week Ending February 3

Post-Inauguration Edition

Post-Inauguration Updates: NCLR responds to executive orders; Resources regarding the executive orders; NCLR continues to mount opposition to the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.

NCLR Responds to Executive Orders: Last week, the president signed a number of executive orders that prove an unprecedented capacity to ignore the facts, flout the norms of public discourse, and declare open season on the nation’s immigrants and 55 million Americans of Hispanic descent. The executive orders include plans to move forward with building a wall on the Mexican border, ramp up deportations and go after cities refusing to transform their local law enforcement into immigration agents. The president also signed an extreme and inhumane executive order that would suspend immigration from a host of Muslim-majority countries and stop refugee from some countries. “We do not turn our backs on vulnerable people fleeing persecution and horrific violence. That is not who we are or who we ought to be. In short, these orders are as un-American as it gets,” stated NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

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NCLR Condemns the Executive Order on Refugees and Muslim Immigration

Here is the full statement from NCLR on the appalling executive order on refugees and Muslims issued by the president:

Continuing to undermine our country’s position as a beacon of freedom, today the Trump administration overreached with an extreme and inhumane executive order that would suspend immigration from a host of Muslim-majority countries and could affect refugee programs.

“The America I know does not put up walls. We do not use law enforcement to terrorize communities. We do not round up people who are not violent criminals. We do not only accept immigrants if they are from the ‘right’ religion. We do not turn our backs on vulnerable people fleeing persecution and horrific violence. That is not who we are or who we ought to be. In short, these orders are as un-American as it gets,” said NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía.

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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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Executive Order Will Increase Accountability on Companies to Protect Workers’ Rights

By Catherine Singley Harvey, Manager, Economic Policy Project, NCLR

On July 31, President Obama took a firm stance in defense of workers’ rights by issuing an executive order calling for additional scrutiny in the federal contracting process to weed out the worst violators of basic labor laws. Under the new order, companies applying for large federal contracts must disclose any violations of labor laws that occurred during the last three years. Considering a company’s compliance record in the competitive bidding process will ensure that corner-cutting businesses do not gain an advantage over firms that play by the rules. The order also stipulates that contractors receiving awards of more than $1 million should not force employees to sign an agreement when they are hired saying they will settle out of court in cases of sexual harassment and workplace discrimination.

The existing laws covered by the executive order include minimum wage and overtime pay, occupational safety and health, nondiscrimination in employment, family and medical leave, and migrant and seasonal farmworker protections. While Latino-owned businesses are underrepresented in federal procurement, Latino workers employed by federal contractors stand to benefit from this new guidance. Workers in industries where the government footprint is large can also expect spillover benefits; the federal government indirectly supports nearly two million jobs in industries where Latinos are overrepresented compared to their share of the overall workforce, which is 16 percent. These industries include restaurant and food service (24.4 percent Latino), construction (25.5 percent Latino), apparel manufacturing (38.6 percent Latino), and services to buildings and dwellings (39.9 percent Latino).

While the potential reach of the new executive order is broad, we need federal agencies like the Department of Labor to do more to root out bad actors that violate labor laws and help the majority of businesses who want to follow the rules do so fully. Furthermore, many of the laws protecting workers were created decades ago when our economy was very different. It’s time for Congress to bring those laws into the 21st century to meet the needs of our modern, multilayered workplace. From raising the federal minimum wage to expanding protections for temporary and contingent workers, NCLR is committed to working with policymakers to bring about these essential changes.