Health Justice

What we do

NYLPI’s Health Justice work brings a racial equity and immigrant justice focus to health care advocacy in New York City and State. We address the human rights crisis in immigration detention; operate a medical-legal-community partnership to increase access to healthcare in immigration detention; connect undocumented and uninsured immigrants with serious health conditions to state-funded Medicaid through our UndocuCare campaign; advocate for healthcare coverage for all New Yorkers; attack dangerous housing conditions; and seek alternatives to police intervention for people experiencing mental health crises. We engage our community partners in our work and seek to lift up the voices of people most directly affected and to follow their lead. We believe health justice impacts all parts of New Yorkers’ lives.

Get help

If you are a person with a serious health condition, and you are: uninsured; in immigration detention; living in unhealthy housing; or denied language access at hospitals – we may be able to help OR we may be able to provide legal assistance. Please call (212) 244-4664, Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 


Transplant Equity Campaign

Supported Decision-Making

Medical Access

Nearly 1 million New York City residents have a disability.

South Ozone Park Sewage Legal Assistance Project

Criminal Justice

Systemic racism and bias against people with disabilities drive fundamental injustices in the criminal legal system.

Healthy Schools

Healthy school environments are critical for our children’s education and well-being.


Physical education improves public health, reduces obesity, and improves focus and educational attainment.


More than 1 million students attend New York City’s public schools.

Transforming Mental Health Crisis Response

Each year, the New York Police Department responds to approximately 150,000 calls relating to people experiencing mental health crises.

Health in Immigration Detention

Thousands of immigrant New Yorkers receive abysmal health care in immigrant detention facilities in and around the City.


As part of the Coverage 4 All Coalition Steering Committee, we pursue health coverage for all New Yorkers regardless of immigration status.


For the 250,000 immigrant New Yorkers who are undocumented and uninsured, access to healthcare is deeply limited.

Healthy Homes

Deteriorating housing for low-income residents, both public and privately owned, poses serious health risks.


Baerga v. City of New York

Sosa v. Hudson County

Bonilla v. Hudson County

The family of Carlos Bonilla, a father of four who died from internal bleeding in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention, has filed a lawsuit against Hudson County and those responsible for his medical care while he was confined to immigration detention at Hudson County Correctional Center.


NYLPI sued the New York Police Department (NYPD) under New York’s Freedom of Information Law for unredacted body-worn camera footage in the fatal shooting of foreign exchange student Miguel Richards.

L.P. v. NYC Dept of Education

In this putative class action, NYLPI represents student-led organization IntegrateNYC and Black and Latino students denied access to NYC public high school sports.

Charles v. United States

Charles v. United States is a federal lawsuit against the United States for failing to provide mental health discharge planning to an individual with diagnosed mental illnesses who was confined to immigration detention.

Charles v. Orange County

Charles v. Orange County is a federal lawsuit challenging Orange County, New York’s unconstitutional “discharge and dump” policy targeted at New Yorkers with mental illness in immigration detention.


Language Access: NYLPI helped lead a coalition to secure an executive order for statewide language access policy that demands state agencies translate vital documents into common non-English languages and provide interpretation. After years of individual and systemic advocacy, our advocacy with our coalition partners led to New York State requiring all private and public hospitals to provide skilled interpreters, translate important hospital forms into commonly used languages, and ensure that limited English proficient patients do not experience excessive delays because of language issues. New York City also enacted the Language Access in Pharmacies Act, drafted by NYLPI, requiring City pharmacy chains to provide translation and interpretation services, and the state enacted  a parallel law known as SafeRx. 

Physical Education in Public Schools/PE4All: Nearly one in five NYC public school students in grades K-8 is obese. Rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and other illnesses related to lack of physical exercise are highest in low-income communities, often communities of color. Yet many schools in New York City struggle to meet physical education requirements. NYLPI worked with education and health advocates, community partners, school administrators, city officials and parents to improve physical education and wellness in New York City’s public schools. We successfully worked for the New York City Council reporting legislation and $100 million in budget initiatives, and we continue to monitor public schools’ performance and push for more funding for physical education in schools.

DACA:  Realizing the risk to 40,000 young New Yorkers who got health coverage, by qualifying for Medicaid because they qualified through the DACA program, we sprang into action developing a legal analysis to support our Coverage 4 All colleagues in advocacy to continue coverage. When President Trump cut the DACA program we built on our base of work and, in coalition, successfully advocated with the State to commit to continuing coverage for former DACA-recipients regardless of federal attacks.


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