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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 Disability Justice Program Urges Peer-Led Mental Health Services in Testimony to NYC Committee on Public Safety

NYLPI Disability Justice Program Urges Peer-Led Mental Health Services in Testimony to NYC Committee on Public Safety

William Juhn, staff attorney for Disability Justice at NYLPI, testified before the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety, stressing the importance of life-saving policy reform in terms of addressing New York City's current mental health crisis response...

NYLPI and Concerned Citizens of Dover Comment on Iroquois Enhancement by Compression (ExC) Project

NYLPI and Concerned Citizens of Dover Comment on Iroquois Enhancement by Compression (ExC) Project

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) and Concerned Citizens of Dover NY (CCD) submitted comments to Project Manager Karen Gaidasz, Bureau of Energy Project Management at the NY DEC Division of Environmental Permits, regarding the proposed Iroquois pipeline...

SmartCitiesDive: Justin Wood Responds to Potential for NYC Fare-Free Bus Program Expansion

SmartCitiesDive: Justin Wood Responds to Potential for NYC Fare-Free Bus Program Expansion

SMARTCITIESDIVE | APRIL 2024 NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood was featured in a story about NYC's fare-free bus program. New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Assembly Member Zohran Mamdan sought to expand the program, but that funding was not included in the...

NYLPI Disability Justice Program Urges Peer-Led Mental Health Services in Testimony to NYC Committee on Public Safety

New York Law Journal: Ruth Lowenkron Featured in Response to Governor Hochul’s Allocation of $33 Million for Mental Health Services

NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL | APRIL 2024 NYLPI Director of Disability Justice Ruth Lowenkron was featured in New York Law Journal coverage about New York State allocating a substantial budget for mental health services. While praising the amount of the allocation, Ruth...

Event Recap: Roberta Mueller Spoke About NYC Special Education, NYLPI Report at Law Firm Antiracism Alliance Education Working Group

Event Recap: Roberta Mueller Spoke About NYC Special Education, NYLPI Report at Law Firm Antiracism Alliance Education Working Group

On April 18, 2024, Roberta Mueller, senior supervising counsel for Disability Justice at NYLPI, spoke at the Law Firm Antiracism Alliance Education Working Group (LFAA) regarding the recent report “A Crisis in Special Education: New York City’s Failure to Educate...

NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood Included in City & State NY’s 2024 Trailblazers in Energy List

NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood Included in City & State NY’s 2024 Trailblazers in Energy List

NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood was honored among City & State's Trailblazers in Energy list: The question is, does Justin Wood hate garbage trucks or polluting power plants more? The longtime policy director for New York Lawyers for the Public Interest has...

New York Times: Karina Albistegui Adler Responds to Op-Ed Writer, Urges Transplant Equity with Regard to Kidney Transplant Discussion

New York Times: Karina Albistegui Adler Responds to Op-Ed Writer, Urges Transplant Equity with Regard to Kidney Transplant Discussion

NEW YORK TIMES | APRIL 2024 NYLPI Co-Director of Health Justice Karina Albistegui Adler's guest opinion essay was included as one of six responses to “We Should Be Allowed to Sell Our Kidneys," an op-ed in the New York Times by Dylan Walsh. "Even though undocumented...

Climate Works for All Coalition Urges Mayor Adams to Use Fiscal Year 2025 Budget to Address Essential Funding for Just Transition

Climate Works for All Coalition Urges Mayor Adams to Use Fiscal Year 2025 Budget to Address Essential Funding for Just Transition

NYLPI joined coalition partners from Climate Works for All in a letter to Mayor Eric Adams' office, urging New York City to implement pressing changes in its Fiscal Year 2025 Budget: "Mayor Adams needs to make climate a bigger priority for his administration. Recent...

Ruth Lowenkron Featured in Spectrum News 1 Regarding Likely Inclusion of Daniel’s Law Pilot Program in the New York State Budget

Ruth Lowenkron Featured in Spectrum News 1 Regarding Likely Inclusion of Daniel’s Law Pilot Program in the New York State Budget

SPECTRUM NEWS 1 | APRIL 2024 New York State's budget will likely contain a pilot program for Daniel's Law, a non-police response to mental health crises, reports Spectrum News 1. "It is just key to dealing with the wholly inappropriate system we have in place now,...

Event Recap: “Housing at the Root: LGBTQ+ New Yorkers Deserve Safety and Access to Thrive”– NYLPI Participates on Panel, Meets with Elected Officials in Albany with the Equality New York Coalition, Uplifting the Needs of LGBTQ+ Immigrants

Event Recap: “Housing at the Root: LGBTQ+ New Yorkers Deserve Safety and Access to Thrive”– NYLPI Participates on Panel, Meets with Elected Officials in Albany with the Equality New York Coalition, Uplifting the Needs of LGBTQ+ Immigrants

New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI) joined the Equality New York Coalition’s (EQNY)’s 2024 LGBTQ+ Advocacy Day in Albany to ensure that our elected officials hear and respond to the needs of immigrant LGBTQ+ New Yorkers. NYLPI, EQNY, the Caribbean...

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