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Immigrant Justice

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.

GET HELP

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.

Campaigns

Transplant Equity Campaign

Fair Housing

Rapid gentrification in New York City has created an affordable housing crisis. People with disabilities and immigrants are at particular risk for discrimination.

Health in Immigration Detention

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

Coverage4All

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

UndocuCare

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

Cases

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.

Jorge v. NYC Transit Authority

For years, the New York City Transit Authority refused to make Access-A-Ride available to people with disabilities who had limited English proficiency.

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.

Staff

Ruth Lowenkron Will Present at Legal Defense Fund’s Save the Subways Virtual Event

Ruth Lowenkron Will Present at Legal Defense Fund’s Save the Subways Virtual Event

NYLPI Director of Disability Justice Ruth Lowenkron will co-present the panel “Health Crisis Response: Education on Subway Sweeps, General Mental Health Crisis” with Anthony Feliciano and Jordyn Rosenthal at Legal Defense Fund’s virtual event Save the Subways on June...

NYLPI Disability Justice Intern Megan Johannesen Delivers Testimony to NYC Council on Education Regarding Int. 399 and Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

NYLPI Disability Justice Intern Megan Johannesen Delivers Testimony to NYC Council on Education Regarding Int. 399 and Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

Megan Johannesen, an intern in the Disability Justice program at NYLPI, delivered testimony to the New York City Council’s Committee on Education on a bill regarding reporting on physical accessibility in New York City public schools. "Thank you, Council Members, for...

Access-A-Ride Paratransit Users Win Decision in Case Against the MTA for Equal Fare Discounts

Access-A-Ride Paratransit Users Win Decision in Case Against the MTA for Equal Fare Discounts

New York, NY – June 17, 2024 — On June 12, 2024, the Supreme Court of the State of New York ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, denying the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's motion to dismiss the case. In the Court’s ruling, Judge Richard Tsai agreed “with...

Reinstatement of Congestion Pricing Crucial for MTA’s Zero-Emission Bus Program

Reinstatement of Congestion Pricing Crucial for MTA’s Zero-Emission Bus Program

NYLPI joined climate, environmental, transit, disability rights, and labor advocates in a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul and the MTA Board, urging them to reinstate Congestion Pricing. The scale of the MTA's zero-emission bus program is unparalleled, given that the...

NYLPI’s Disability Justice and Health Justice Programs Will Co-Host Virtual Introduction to Disability and its Impact on Immigrant Populations on June 27

NYLPI’s Disability Justice and Health Justice Programs Will Co-Host Virtual Introduction to Disability and its Impact on Immigrant Populations on June 27

NYLPI joins the New York Immigration Coaltion (NYIC) and the International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) for "Representing Immigrants with Disabilities: An Introduction to Disability and its Impact on Immigrant Populations," a virtual training session on Thursday,...

NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera Announces Passage of Introduction 0085-2024, Resolution 0340-2024

NYC Council Member Carlina Rivera Announces Passage of Introduction 0085-2024, Resolution 0340-2024

Arielle Wisbaum, Health Justice staff attorney, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, was highlighted in a press release by Council Member Carlina Rivera, whose new legislation, Introduction 0085-2024 and Resolution 0340-2024, strives to ensure that New York City...

NYLPI Statement on Governor Hochul’s Decision to Indefinitely Delay the Congestion Pricing Program

NYLPI Statement on Governor Hochul’s Decision to Indefinitely Delay the Congestion Pricing Program

The Governor’s last-minute attempt to indefinitely delay the Central Business District tolling program after years of community input, public hearings, and intensive study is unacceptable. This about-face threatens to defund billions of dollars in urgently needed...

Op-Ed: Rising Above the Flood: “Empowering New Yorkers with Resilient Homes” by Niki Cross, NYLPI, William Scarborough, Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition, and Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson

Op-Ed: Rising Above the Flood: “Empowering New Yorkers with Resilient Homes” by Niki Cross, NYLPI, William Scarborough, Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition, and Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS | JUNE 2024 NYLPI Environmental Justice Program Staff Attorney Niki Cross, Assemblymember Khaleel Anderson and William Scarborough, President of the Southeast Queens Residents Environmental Justice Coalition, penned an op-ed about the urgent need...

New York Times: “My Co-op Won’t Accommodate My Hearing Disability. How Do I Force the Issue?” NYLPI’s Maureen Belluscio Has an Answer

New York Times: “My Co-op Won’t Accommodate My Hearing Disability. How Do I Force the Issue?” NYLPI’s Maureen Belluscio Has an Answer

Maureen Belluscio, Managing Attorney for Disability Justice at NYLPI, was included in the print and digital issue of the New York Times on May 26, 2024; the "Ask Real Estate" column highlighted a question from a tenant looking for expert opinions about building...

Memo of Support: Open Meetings Law Will Require Hybrid Participation at Public Meetings and Close Loopholes

Memo of Support: Open Meetings Law Will Require Hybrid Participation at Public Meetings and Close Loopholes

NYLPI joins more than thirty groups in support of A10266 (Simone), which would improve the Open Meetings Law. as "this bill... will encourage greater public participation in open meetings, while making it easier for those serving on public bodies to attend such...

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