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.
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.
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.
CLIMATEWIRE | JULY 2022 NYLPI’s Environmental Justice Staff Attorney, Sonya Chung, was recently quoted in Politico's Climatewire on the complexities behind local and federal guidelines for climate aid and the factors used to identify disadvantaged communities....
On June 25, volunteer attorneys from large law firms joined NYLPI for a hybrid naturalization clinic to assist long-time green card holders on their path to citizenship. The clinic, part of the long-standing relationship between NYLPI and Catholic Migration Services,...
Pro Bono: Sidley Austin LLP Attorneys Present on Contract Negotiation Tactics for Small Businesses and Nonprofits
On June 23, Robert A. Ryan and Shahrukh Khan, attorneys in Sidley Austin's Capital Markets team, led a webinar on contract negotiation strategies for an audience of New York nonprofits and micro-enterprises. In collaboration with the Women's Enterprise Development...
EL DIARIO | JULY 2022 NYLPI's partnership with Catholic Migration Services provides regular clinics with legal advice for immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship. El Diario wrote about the clinics, the benefits of applying for citizenship, and tips to ensure the...
NYLPI's Ruth Lowenkron, Director of Disability Justice, was quoted in a profile of the late Curtis Brewer for Disability History NYC. Curtis Brewer was an early pioneer of Disability Justice in New York City, utilizing his law degree to work on physical accessibility...
Supreme Court Decision Signals Need for Strong Implementation and Adequate Funding for NY’s Landmark Climate Law
"Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide...
NYLPI’s Health Justice team is excited to share the fourth installment of NYLPI’s Health Justice Talks: Safety & Covid-19 Vaccination for Children. Dr. Steve Auerbach, MD, MPH, FAAP, Pediatrician and known Public Health Doctor, provides important information and...
This past spring, Yale Law School's Arthur Liman Center for Public Interest Law honored its 25th anniversary during the annual Liman Public Interest Colloquium. NYLPI's Executive Director McGregor Smyth, a former Liman Center Fellow, spoke on one of the panels...
Today the US Supreme Court stripped constitutional protections from millions and threatened the human rights of all people with the capacity of pregnancy – those who choose to be pregnant and those who choose not to be. This decision is as dangerous as it is...
NYLPI Among Amici Challenging Dismissal of Special Education Class Action Based on Failure to “Exhaust Administrative Remedies”
NYPLI's Senior Supervising Attorney Roberta Mueller is among the amici challenging the recent District Court dismissal of ZQ v. NYC Dep’t of Educ, which cited a failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The amicus brief highlights the futility of requiring...