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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

ABC7 NY: Ruth Lowenkron Featured in “City in Crisis: Mental Health Emergency”

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...

New York Times: NYLPI’s Karina Albistegui Adler Quoted in Response to New York City’s Unjust Organ Transplant Policies

New York Times: NYLPI’s Karina Albistegui Adler Quoted in Response to New York City’s Unjust Organ Transplant Policies

NEW YORK TIMES | MAY 2023 NYLPI's Karina Albistegui Adler was featured in a New York Times story about the barriers immigrants face in receiving organ transplants, despite the fact that under the 2019 NYC municipal identification card ID program, "214,147 registered...

New York Times: NYLPI’s Karina Albistegui Adler Quoted in Response to New York City’s Unjust Organ Transplant Policies

News Coverage: NYLPI Health Justice Program and Coalition Partners Publish Transplant Equity Report

“They Can Donate But They Can’t Receive”, a new report authored by NYLPI, Make the Road NY, and the New York Immigration Coalition, documents the many barriers immigrants face to receiving life-saving organ transplants in New York and outlines immediate steps...

As NYC’s Homelessness & Mental Health Crises Worsen, Advocates Demand Non-Police, Peer-led Response

As NYC’s Homelessness & Mental Health Crises Worsen, Advocates Demand Non-Police, Peer-led Response

Correct Crisis Intervention Today - NYC (CCIT-NYC), a coalition of activists, community and non-profit members, and other advocates working to transform the City’s response to the more than 200,000 mental health crisis calls received annually, held a rally to call for...

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