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.
Health in Immigration Detention
Thousands of immigrant New Yorkers receive abysmal health care in immigrant detention facilities in and around the City.
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.
Noelle PeñasHealth Justice Community Organizer
Nevien SwailmyeenHealth Justice Advocate
Arielle WisbaumStaff Attorney
Justin WoodDirector of Policy
Maureen BelluscioSenior Staff Attorney
Marinda van DalenSenior Staff Attorney
Karina Albistegui AdlerSenior Advocate
Event Recap: Ruth Lowenkron Presented “Class, Race, Civil Rights and Mental Health Law”
Ruth Lowenkron, NYLPI director of Disability Justice, co-presented a lunch and learn presentation on "Class, Race, Civil Rights and Mental Health Law" in Moot Court. She was joined by Mark Joyce, managing attorney, Mental Health Rights Program, Disability Rights...
amNY: NYLPI’s Suhali Méndez Featured in City Council Budget Hearing Highlights
amNY | MARCH 2023 Suhali Méndez, NYLPI policy and legislative coordinator, was featured in an amNY story about the New York City Council's education budget hearing highlights. Suhali shared testimony about why the city council should fund staffing of licensed mental...
Anthony Karefa Rogers Wright Featured at Roosevelt Institute Climate Justice Event in Washington D.C.
Anthony Karefa Rogers Wright, NYLPI director of Environmental Justice, will be featured at the Roosevelt Institute's climate justice event, "Building the Green Transition: A Justice-Centered Vision for Permitting Reform" in Washington D.C. on. March 21, 2023. Wright...
Event Recap: Let’s Talk About SPACE 2023 & Beyond
NYLPI collaborated with Nonprofit New York on a half-day summit, "Let's Talk About SPACE, 2023 & Beyond," held at the Ford Foundation on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. "It was a wonderful morning for the sector filled with fresh ideas on real estate, space and briefing...
City & State NY: McGregor Smyth Selected for City & State’s 2023 Law Power 100
CITY & STATE | MARCH 2023 NYLPI's Executive Director McGregor Smyth was chosen for City & State NY's Law Power 100 list: McGregor Smyth Executive Director, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest "McGregor Smyth is a natural choice to lead New York Lawyers...
NYLPI Responds to the Fiscal Year 2024 One-House Budget Bills
Contact: Eli Judge [email protected]; Erin Gaffney, [email protected] March 17, 2023 This week, the New York State Senate and Assembly laid out budget proposals for initiatives that are both highly feasible and necessary to meet the intersecting...
NYLPI Joins Transit Advocacy Groups in Letter Regarding MTA Congestion Pricing to Congress Members
NYLPI joined transit advocacy groups Congestion Pricing Now, Move NY, Tri-State Transportation Campaign Regional Plan Association, New York League of Conservation Voters Open Plans, Bike Hoboken, Bike JC, Bike North Bergen, Hudson County Complete Streets Real Estate...
NYLPI Joins Advocates and Activists In Urging Mayor Adams to Extend Funding for Special Education Initiatives
NYLPI joins advocates and activists in New York in signing a letter urging Mayor Adams to extend funding for the following initiatives funded by city funding that are set to expire in June and were left out of the Mayor’s FY 24 Preliminary Budget: Mental Health...
NYLPI Joins NYAPRS and Advocates To Rally For 8.5% COLA and Alternatives to Hospitalization
NYLPI joins advocates, legislators and people with lived experience of mental health from Association for Community Living, Center for Community Alternatives, Community Access, Fountain House, The Mental Health Association of New York State, NAMI-NYC, New York...
NYLPI & Nonprofit New York Will Host Let’s Talk About Space on March 14 at Ford Foundation
On March 14, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest and Nonprofit New York will host a half-day summit at the Ford Foundation, featuring candid conversations and insightful panel discussions on the climate and space challenges impacting the nonprofit sector,...