What We do
More than three million immigrants live in New York City. They helped weave the fabric of the City’s history and are critical to its future. Yet these communities face unjust and unlawful barriers to living, working, going to school, and accessing healthcare. Entrenched barriers based on immigration status leave hundreds of thousands without medical care. Government agencies routinely deny access to services based on language ability—often a form of discrimination based on national origin.
Changes to immigration policy and increased enforcement have created fear of accessing government services and critical medical care. Recently proposed revisions to the “public charge” rules are projected to cause significant pullback in community members’ using government health and food security programs – even for children – because eligible immigrants are afraid of risking their status. Drastically reduced federal civil rights enforcement has left our client communities more vulnerable to abuse.
NYLPI has a long commitment to immigrant justice and to addressing the challenges faced by immigrant communities. Notable successes include our coalition efforts that achieved Executive Order 26, a statewide language access policy that demands that state agencies that interact directly with the public translate vital public documents in the most common non-English languages and provide interpretation services, and SafeRx, a law requiring pharmacy and mail-order chains to provide translation and interpretation. Our class action litigation resulted in the New York City Transit Authority’s robust language access policy for Access-A-Ride, the City’s paratransit service for people with disabilities. Our current litigation challenges the human rights crisis in healthcare for people in immigration detention. We fight for healthcare for undocumented uninsured immigrants with serious health conditions whose status should not bar access to health insurance and effective medical care. We will continue to adapt and respond to the rapid pace of changing needs of our immigrant communities.
If you are a person with a serious health condition and you are uninsured; in immigration detention; or denied language access at hospitals – we may be able to help. Please also call us if you are have trouble accessing any government services because of language access. Please call (212) 244-4664, Monday to Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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Rapid gentrification in New York City has created an affordable housing crisis. People with disabilities and immigrants are at particular risk for discrimination.
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.
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.
Sophie DalsimerSupervising Immigration Attorney
Noelle PeñasHealth Justice Community Organizer
Nevien SwailmyeenHealth Justice Advocate
Arielle WisbaumStaff Attorney
Justin WoodDirector of Policy
Maureen BelluscioSenior Staff Attorney
Karina Albistegui AdlerSenior Advocate
Insurance Journal: Michelle Kraus, Senior Social Worker, Featured in Intro 209-A Story
INSURANCE JOURNAL | MAY 2023 NYLPI's Michelle Kraus, Senior Social Worker in the Disability Justice program, was featured in Insurance Journal regarding her testimony at the City Council hearings on Intro. 209-A, which amends Section 8-101 of the New York City's Human...
Law & Society Awards Luncheon 2023: Immigrant Justice
On May 25, 2023, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) proudly honored Lisa E. Cleary, Partner, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, and David B. Pitofsky, Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer, News Corp at the 30th...
NYLPI Submitted Testimony to the City Council Regarding New York City FY2024 Executive Budget
NYLPI submitted comprehensive testimony to the City Council on the New York City FY2024 Executive Budget. We appreciate that the Council’s proposed budget recognizes the immediate and long-term harms of funding cuts for vital public services and understaffing...
OP-ED: “Design cap-and invest-program with an eye to equity” by Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright
TIMES UNION | MAY 2023 Anthony Karefa Rogers-Wright, NYLPI director of Environmental Justice, penned an op-ed for the Times Union about how the cap-and-invest approach to addressing climate change in New York. "Climate change waits for no one, so with just days left...
Event Recap: Ruth Lowenkron Presented “New Jersey Disability Law, Rights and Justice”
Ruth Lowenkron, director of Disability Justice at NYLPI, presented a virtual program for Aging in Montclair titled "New Jersey Disability Law, Rights and Justice" on May 20, 2023. Ruth spoke about disability justice and her career of advocating for the rights of...
Bloomberg Law: Marinda van Dalen Featured in Top News Roundup for Lawyers and Law Firms
BLOOMBERG LAW | MAY 2023 Marinda van Dalen was featured in Bloomberg Law's Wake Up Call, a daily rundown of the top news for lawyers, law firms, and in-house counsel. The nonprofit New York Lawyers for the Public Interest named senior staff attorney Marinda van Dalen...
THE CITY: Ruth Lowenkron Criticizing Screening Centers for Access-A-Ride Eligibility
THE CITY | MAY 2023 Disability advocates and Access-A-Ride users expressed frustration in this story by The City about how MTA's eligibility assessment enters are unnecessary, when paratransit systems across the state require only a doctor’s note or at-home evaluation...
Politico: Marinda van Dalen Featured in New York Playbook
POLITICO | MAY 2023 NYLPI's Marinda van Dalen was featured in Politico's New York Playbook. Marinda van Dalen has been named litigation director of New York Lawyers for the Public Interest. She most recently was senior staff attorney with NYLPI’s Disability Justice...
ABC7 NY: Ruth Lowenkron Featured in “City in Crisis: Mental Health Emergency”
ABC7 NY | MAY 2023 Ruth Lowenkron, NYLPI's director of Disability Justice, was featured on ABC7 NY's new segment about mental health in New York City and Mayor Eric Adams' latest policies, "City in Crisis: Mental Health Emergency." The segment noted that 1 in 5 New...
Telemundo 47: “Pueden Donar, Pero No Recibir” Report and Coverage For All Featured
TELEMUNDO 47 NY | MAY 2023 NYLPI's Karina Albestigui Adler was interviewed in a Telemundo 47 segment titled "Desventaja para los inmigrantes que buscan trasplantes de órganos." Karina discussed the sad reality for all of her clients who can donate organs but cannot...