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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

NYLPI’s Health Justice Program Launches “They Can Donate But They Can’t Receive” Report

NYLPI’s Health Justice Program Launches “They Can Donate But They Can’t Receive” Report

NYLPI's Health Justice program will host a launch event for its new report, "They Can Donate But They Can't Receive", on Thursday, May 11 at 12 p.m. at City Hall Park, as part of its Transplant Equity campaign. “They Can Donate But They Can’t Receive”, which documents...

NYLPI, FELLOW DANIEL’S LAW COALITION PARTNERS, AND JOE PRUDE RESPOND TO ESTABLISHMENT OF “DANIEL’S LAW TASKFORCE” IN NYS 2023-24 BUDGET

NYLPI, FELLOW DANIEL’S LAW COALITION PARTNERS, AND JOE PRUDE RESPOND TO ESTABLISHMENT OF “DANIEL’S LAW TASKFORCE” IN NYS 2023-24 BUDGET

The Daniel’s Law Coalition, of which NYLPI is an active member, seeks to pass legislation in New York State that would end the over-reliance on police as first responders to mental health and substance use crises. The legislation, known as Daniel’s Law, was introduced...

Ruth Lowenkron Testified Regarding Proposed Mental Health Roadmap and B-HEARD to NYC Council

Ruth Lowenkron Testified Regarding Proposed Mental Health Roadmap and B-HEARD to NYC Council

Ruth Lowenkron, NYLPI director of Disability Justice, shared written and oral testimony regarding New York City's mental health crisis support services to the City Council Committee on Mental Health, Disabilities, and Addiction. Ruth's testimony details the shortfalls...

NYLPI Statement on Final 2024 New York State Budget

NYLPI Statement on Final 2024 New York State Budget

In response to the FY 2024 State Budget, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) issues the following statement on key policy issues impacting Disability, Environmental, and Health Justice in New York:      Advancing Climate and Environmental Justice  NYLPI...

News Coverage: Federal Litigation to Transform Mental Health Crisis Response

News Coverage: Federal Litigation to Transform Mental Health Crisis Response

A broad coalition of public interest groups and people with mental disabilities filed an emergency request to immediately halt New York City’s new policy to greatly expand coerced transport to psychiatric hospitals of people perceived to have “an inability to meet...

NYLPI Statement Regarding Second Amended Complaint in Baerga v. City of New York

NYLPI Statement Regarding Second Amended Complaint in Baerga v. City of New York

On April 20, the plaintiffs in the federal class action lawsuit challenging New York City’s use of police as first responders for people experiencing mental health crises filed an Amended Complaint, describing the additional legal violations presented by Mayor Eric...

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