NYLPI’s Director of the Health Justice Program, Laura Redman, recently published this op-ed in the New York Daily News warning of a developing human rights crisis, as the new administration’s deportation policies will increase the number of persons being sent to detention centers. “Under President Trump’s newly released policies expanding who is considered deportable, many more of our neighbors will be held in detention until their cases are resolved. They will be locked into an unsafe and intolerable situation.” Our report released February 22, 2017 documents egregious, recurring medical neglect in three county jail immigration detention facilities in our area.
Read Laura’s Op-Ed in the New York Daily News.
Today, NYLPI was thrilled to honor Markus Diethelm, Group General Counsel of UBS, and Martin Flumenbaum, Senior Litigation Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP at the 24th Annual Law & Society Award Luncheon. “NYLPI is celebrating 40 years of work with and for our communities,” said Executive Director McGregor Smyth. “Our success has been driven by both our partnerships with our clients, and the steadfast support of the legal community. Markus and Marty have been integral to our efforts to protect the rights of every New Yorker and to continue the fight for quality healthcare and housing, safe jobs, equal schools, and healthy neighborhoods. They stand as formidable examples of why it is so important – especially now – to use the power of law to ensure dignity, equality, and justice for all New Yorkers.” Read the full press release here.
NYLPI’s Health Justice Program released a report today documenting the serious, often life-threatening, deficiencies in the medical care provided to people detained in New York City-area immigration detention facilities. The facilities, County jails that contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), regularly failed to provide adequate medical care to those who were detained, violating their constitutional rights. People confined to immigration detention have the right to adequate health care. Our work has shown that ICE and the County jails are delaying and denying necessary and essential care – leading to devastating health consequences such as emergency surgery, delayed cancer diagnoses and worsening conditions of treatable diseases and pain. We hope this report shines a light on this population, a population of people we can only presume will increase as ICE raids happen across the country and President Trump promises more deportations.
Read the press release.
Read Director of Health Justice Laura Redman’s Op-Ed in the New York Daily News.
Read the coverage in Politico, Crain’s, and The Nation.
NYLPI thanks everyone for all their hard work in reaching out to the Senate to advocate for the rights of students with disabilities during the confirmation hearings for education secretary.
Although Secretary DeVos was confirmed, it was by the smallest margin possible – a tie-breaking vote cast by the Vice President – and our voices were heard. We must maintain our advocacy and be even more vigilant than before in ensuring that our children receive the appropriate education to which they are entitled. We must fight for:
- An excellent education for all;
- Enforcing the rights of students with disabilities under federal and state special education laws and federal and state non-discrimination laws;
- Including students with disabilities in the general education classroom wherever possible;
- Providing appropriate educational supports to students with disabilities;
- Enabling students with disabilities to transition from Early Intervention to post-secondary life, and every step along the way;
- Eliminating discriminatory disciplinary practices;
- Eliminating seclusion and restraint;
- Full funding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
- Ensuring that IDEA funding is not used for voucher programs; and,
- Eliminating discrimination against students with disabilities in voucher programs and charter schools.
NYLPI is re-doubling its commitment to children with disabilities and we hope we can count on you to work with us in this critical effort for our most precious citizens.
NYLPI’s Disability Justice program represents hundreds of students with disabilities every year. These students depend on vigorous enforcement of federal civil rights laws, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). DeVos’ public record and confirmation hearing show that she is ignorant about civil rights and public education, and is actively hostile to enforcement of these key rights. DeVos testified that enforcement of federal civil rights laws should be left to State and local governments. She is opposed to reporting the use of federal funds by private schools and charter schools, including for-profit charter schools that stand to make millions of dollars from diverted public school funds. Moreover, DeVos has refused to divest herself of stocks that would benefit from the privatization of education. DeVos also supports the use of vouchers in religious schools, a practice shown to increase racial segregation and severely disadvantage students with disabilities. DeVos is not an educator, she never attended public school, and she enrolled her children in private schools. She is the least qualified nominee for Secretary of Education in the modern age. Please join NYLPI in opposing the confirmation of Betsy DeVos.
NYLPI and nine peer disability rights organizations wrote to Governor Cuomo and Mayor DeBlasio this week to oppose a 9% fare increase on city buses and subways that would have unfairly impacted people with disabilities who use Access-A-Ride. Many Access-A-Ride riders already struggle to pay the fare and must put up with the worst service in the transit system.
In response to our advocacy, the MTA rejected the fare increase this week. MTA Chair Thomas Prendergast credited Access-A-Ride advocates for influencing the decision, noting that the impact on the Access-A-Ride fare was “absolutely” a factor in the decision.
See the Daily News’ coverage of our advocacy:
Ruth Lowenkron, Director of the Disability Justice Program at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, stated: “NYLPI appreciates the fair fare. The budget cannot be balanced on the backs of persons with disabilities.”
Join NYLPI’s Pro Bono Clearinghouse as our panel of experienced pro bono attorneys discusses the many ways in which people with disabilities face barriers within the criminal justice system, including inaccessible vehicles and buildings, a lack of communication services for the Deaf, and the denial of mental health services.
NYLPI’s Disability Justice practice is founded on the principles of equality of opportunity, self-determination, and independence for people with disabilities. We assert the rights of New Yorkers with disabilities to equal access to education, healthcare, housing and more. NYLPI fights for all New Yorkers to participate fully in their communities.
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) stands with public interest organizations across the country in opposing the appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) as Attorney General. Sessions’ record opposing civil rights and immigration, and his affiliations with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim organizations, prove he is too extreme to be this country’s top lawyer and law enforcement officer. Sessions also poses a threat to persons with disabilities and their long battle for equality, justice, and independence. As just one example, Sessions believes that the laws guaranteeing an appropriate education for students with disabilities “may be the single most irritating problem for teachers throughout America today,” and claimed that accommodating the education needs of students with disabilities was “a big factor in accelerating the decline in civility and discipline in classrooms all over America.” Sessions’ comments are as inaccurate as they are offensive. Decades of educational research support the federal mandate of educating students with disabilities in the general education classroom to the maximum extent appropriate. Inclusion is not only beneficial for students with disabilities; it also provides social and academic advantages for all students.
The Attorney General must enforce and uphold all U.S. laws and represent all of us as the nation’s lawyer. As someone who has voted against expanding children’s health coverage, Medicaid, Medicare, reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, and expanded support for the Veterans Administration; and voted for the removal of pregnant women from health coverage and rolling back LGBT rights – the evidence shows that he does not, and will not, stand up for all of us and protect our most vulnerable communities.
NYLPI will continue its 40 years of dedication and commitment to disability rights and health justice. We urge Senators to oppose the nomination of Jeff Sessions who does not share these basic tenets.
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) in collaboration with Catholic Migration Services (CMS), Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, and several major law firms are hosting a large scale naturalization clinic providing free immigration counsel to individuals across New York City. The full-day clinic, taking place on Saturday, January 28th from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the Office of Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams at 209 Joralemon St. in Brooklyn, will help over 100 registrants – more than any previous clinic – complete their naturalization applications, obtain fee waivers, and receive information about their immigration rights. In case you missed it, watch our very own Annamaria Santamaria, Program Associate for Pro Bono Programs, discuss our longstanding partnership and upcoming workshop with Joe Torres of WABC-TV’s Tiempo and Katiria Soto of Univision NY.
Click here for coverage from Univision, Tiempo, Tiempo Part 2, NY1 Noticias, and News 12 Brooklyn.
The New York Law Journal today published a column by McGregor on the threats arising from the new federal leadership, along with strategies for a response: “For 40 years, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest has partnered with the private bar and community leaders to bring the power of law and organizing to where it’s needed most. With collective progress now threatened by the new federal government, we have a renewed call to action in seeking dignity, equality, and justice for all New Yorkers.”