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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

Madison Pinckney, Awarded the Keller Fellowship at Duke Law School, Will Work at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Madison Pinckney, Awarded the Keller Fellowship at Duke Law School, Will Work at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest

Madison Pinckney, class of 2024 at Duke Law School, has been awarded their Keller Fellowship and will work at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest for one year. Her area of focus will be bridging the accessibility gap between high school and college for students...

Law360: Karina Albistegui Adler Talks Disparities in Organ Transplant Access, New Proposal by Biden Administration

Law360: Karina Albistegui Adler Talks Disparities in Organ Transplant Access, New Proposal by Biden Administration

LAW360 | MAY 2024 Karina Albistegui Adler, co-director of Health Justice at NYLPI, was featured in a Law360 article about racial bias in the U.S. organ transplant system, a lawsuit against UNOS (the organization that oversees organ transplants in the United States)...

Urgent Action: Protect IOLA Funds Held in Trust for New Yorkers in Need

Urgent Action: Protect IOLA Funds Held in Trust for New Yorkers in Need

An active member of the New York Legal Services Coalition, NYLPI is hosting a statewide digital action before the end of session on June 6. In a last-minute reversal in the final FY2025 Executive Budget, Governor Hochul diverted $55 million from the Interest on...

Streetsblog NYC: Companies Seeking to Shirk Responsibility for Harmful Vehicle Emissions Shouldn’t Get Away With It

Streetsblog NYC: Companies Seeking to Shirk Responsibility for Harmful Vehicle Emissions Shouldn’t Get Away With It

Suhali Méndez, Policy and Legislative coordinator at NYLPI, was featured in Streetsblog NYC regarding transport companies trying to evade a 52-year-old law about vehicle idling. Several large companies are vowing to electrify their fleet in the future but are seeking...

New York Times: Ruth Lowenkron Responds to NYPD Forcibly Removing New Yorkers from Public Transit

New York Times: Ruth Lowenkron Responds to NYPD Forcibly Removing New Yorkers from Public Transit

NEW YORK TIMES | MAY 2024 NYLPI Director of Disability Justice Ruth Lowenkron was featured in a New York Times story about Mayor Eric Adams' involuntary hospitalization directive and the City's response to mental health crises. Via a program called SCOUT, New York...

Crains NY: NYLPI and Disability Advocates Respond to New York City’s Mental Health Crisis Services After Another Fatal Shooting

Crains NY: NYLPI and Disability Advocates Respond to New York City’s Mental Health Crisis Services After Another Fatal Shooting

CRAIN'S NY | MAY 2024 Disability and mental health advocates in New York City question New York leadership's current mental health programs after 19-year-old Win Rozario's death by police, which occurred when he was calling 911 for help in March. NYLPI Director of...

SI Live.com: NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood and Sarah Blas Featured as Trailblazers in Clean Energy

SI Live.com: NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood and Sarah Blas Featured as Trailblazers in Clean Energy

SI LIVE | MAY 2024 Justin Wood, director of Policy at NYLPI, was featured on SILive.com in a new story regarding City & State's 2024 Clean Energy Trailblazer Awards. Sarah Bas and Justin Wood are dedicated to implementing clean energy practices in the borough of...

NYLPI Disability Justice Program Pushes for Voluntary, Non-Police Response to Mental Health Crises in City Council Hearing

NYLPI Disability Justice Program Pushes for Voluntary, Non-Police Response to Mental Health Crises in City Council Hearing

Ruth Lowenkron, Disability Justice director,  Sakeena Trice, senior staff attorney, and William Juhn, senior staff attorney, shared testimony on behalf of the NYLPI's Disability Justice before the Council of the City of New York's Committees on Health and Mental...

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