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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

City Limits: Suhali Méndez Featured in City Limits Story on $61.1 Million EPA Funding Towards Electric Schoolbuses

City Limits: Suhali Méndez Featured in City Limits Story on $61.1 Million EPA Funding Towards Electric Schoolbuses

CITY LIMITS | MARCH 2024 NYLPI Suhali Méndez, policy and legislative coordinator at NYLPI, was featured in a City Limits story about New York receiving $61.1 million in federal funding from the Environmental Protection Agency for new electric school buses. “It is...

NYLPI’s William Juhn Advocates for Peer-Led Police Response in Testimony to NYC’s Committee on Public Safety

NYLPI’s William Juhn Advocates for Peer-Led Police Response in Testimony to NYC’s Committee on Public Safety

William Juhn, senior staff attorney, Disability Justice at NYLPI, submitted testimony regarding serious issues in New York City's current mental health crisis response policies. "NYLPI is deeply concerned about the City’s dangerous and illegal practices relating to...

NYLPI Supports A8857 (Carroll) and S8099 (Comrie)

NYLPI Supports A8857 (Carroll) and S8099 (Comrie)

NYLPI joins 18 transportation equity groups in supporting A8857 (Carroll) / S8099 (Comrie), which requires cost estimates and MTA Board approval for a 20-year capital needs assessment. The release of the MTA’s twenty-year needs assessment is a crucial step towards...

WXXI NEWS NPR: Ruth Lowenkron Discusses Daniel’s Law Pilot, the Importance of Peers with Lived Experience Helping Handle Mental Health Crises

WXXI NEWS NPR: Ruth Lowenkron Discusses Daniel’s Law Pilot, the Importance of Peers with Lived Experience Helping Handle Mental Health Crises

WXXI NEWS NPR | MARCH 2024 Ruth Lowenkron, director of Disability Justice at NYLPI, was featured in a WXII News story about the Daniel's Law pilot funding moving forward in the New York State Legislature. A longtime advocate on this issue, Ruth Lowenkron of the...

Daniel’s Law Pilot Funding Included in 2025 One-House Budget, New York One Step Closer to a Non-Police Mental Health Crisis Response Program

Daniel’s Law Pilot Funding Included in 2025 One-House Budget, New York One Step Closer to a Non-Police Mental Health Crisis Response Program

The $2 million in necessary funding to establish a Daniel's Law pilot has moved forward in the New York State Legislature, with the amount being allocated in both One-House Budgets. Now the State Senate, Assembly, and Governor Kathy Hochul must agree on a final...

Michelle Kraus Testified to the New York City Council, Urging the City to Invest in Special Ed Resources, Zero Emission Schoolbuses in Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

Michelle Kraus Testified to the New York City Council, Urging the City to Invest in Special Ed Resources, Zero Emission Schoolbuses in Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

Michelle Kraus, manager of Social Work and Intake Services, Disability Justice at NYLPI, testified at the New York City Council Committee on Education's public hearing on March 18, 2024, regarding the Fiscal Year 2025 Preliminary Budget. "As a social worker engaged...

NYLPI’s William Juhn Advocates for Peer-Led Police Response in Testimony to NYC’s Committee on Public Safety

TAHMIR WILLIAMS, NYLPI DISABILITY JUSTICE PROGRAM INTERN, AND MAUREEN BELLUSCIO, NYLPI DISABILITY JUSTICE PROGRAM MANAGING ATTORNEY, URGED NYC COUNCIL TO FULLY FUND NYC COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS DISABILITY JUSTICE IN FISCAL YEAR 2025 BUDGET

Tahmir Williams, Legal Intern with NYLPI’s Disability Justice Program, and Maureen Belluscio, Disability Justice Program Managing Attorney, delivered testimony to the NYC Council Committee on Civil and Human Rights to support a fully funded NYC Commission on Human...

Justin Wood Urges NYC Department of Sanitation to Improve Programs and Infrastructure Towards Waste Equity Goals

Justin Wood Urges NYC Department of Sanitation to Improve Programs and Infrastructure Towards Waste Equity Goals

Justin Wood, director of Policy at NYLPI, submitted testimony to the New York City Department of Sanitation on March 14, 2024 regarding the Preliminary Sanitation Budget for FY2025. "Now is not the time to retreat from our city's public health, equity, and...

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