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.
NYLPI's Ruth Lowenkron and Eman Rimawi-Doster were featured in an article to speak on why a renewed mask mandate on MTA is vital to protect New Yorkers with disabilities and their high-risk loved ones. "They never should have lifted it. And absolutely now, with COVID...
Do you remember playing sports in high school? If you had the chance to be a student-athlete, then you know the feeling of pride, school spirit, camaraderie, and achievement that come from hitting the perfect serve, landing a 3-pointer, or beating your last personal...
Ruth Lowenkron, Director of Disability Justice at NYLPI, was featured in Mental Health Weekly's top news story in December regarding Mayor Eric Adams' troubling mental health directive. “People are concerned. The mayor is announcing a program heavily involving the...
Press Release: NYLPI & NY Renews Call on Legislature & State Agencies to Fund and Implement Climate Act
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE***: December 20, 2022 Contact: Stephan Edel, [email protected], 646-644-1845 Web: @NYRenews | www.nyrenews.org NY Renews Coalition Applauds the Climate Action Council’s Final Scoping Plan; Calls on NYS Legislature and state agencies, to...
New York Lawyers for the Public Interest joined advocates in penning a letter to the New York State Assembly, urging them to pass new rules to ensure that public meetings are webcast and made more accessible, including including the provision of American Sign...
Jamie A. Levitt, Morrison Foerster Managing Partner and NYLPI Board Member, Awarded 2023 Kay Crawford Murray Memorial Award
Jamie A. Levitt, Managing Partner, Morrison Foerster New York, has been selected by the New York State Bar Association as the recipient of the 2023 Kay Crawford Murray Memorial Award. Levitt formerly served as NYLPI's Chair and is a longstanding board member. The Bar...
News Coverage: NYLPI emergency request to stop NYC’s unconstitutional mental health involuntary removal policy
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...
BK Reader: Marinda van Dalen Interviewed Regarding the Failures of City’s Mental Health Crisis Response
Marinda van Dalen, NYLPI's Senior Staff Attorney, Disability and Health Justice, was interviewed in BK Reader regarding Mayor Eric Adams' new mental health directive and NYLPI and co-counsel's emergency filing to halt the harmful proposal. “To do anything less than...
Cheddar News: Ruth Lowenkron Featured Regarding Mayor’s New Directive, Mental Health Crisis Response Services
Ruth Lowenkron, NYLPI's Director of Disability Justice, was featured in a Cheddar News profile regarding Mayor Eric Adams' unclear and harmful new mental health directive. “It is certainly an attempt to suggest that all people who are homeless be swept off of the...
Eman Rimawi-Doster, NYLPI's Access-A-Ride Reform Group (AARRG!) coordinator and organizer, drafted a letter to Janno Lieber, Chair and CEO of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) which AARG! forwarded to Gov. Kathy Hochul. AARRG! urges Gov. Hochul and the...