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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

INFORMED BY CLIENTS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS, UNDOCUCARE TGNCI+ STAFF ATTORNEY SUBMITS TESTIMONY TO NYC COUNCIL ON THE EXPERIENCES OF BLACK AND LGBTQ+ MIGRANTS

INFORMED BY CLIENTS AND COMMUNITY PARTNERS, UNDOCUCARE TGNCI+ STAFF ATTORNEY SUBMITS TESTIMONY TO NYC COUNCIL ON THE EXPERIENCES OF BLACK AND LGBTQ+ MIGRANTS

Arielle Wisbaum, staff attorney in NYLPI’s UndocuCare TGNCI+ program, submitted testimony to New York City Council Committees regarding access to shelter, health outcomes, and asylum services for Black migrants in New York. She encouraged the Council’s attention to...

Op-Ed: “N.Y. should pass the HEAT Act to save on energy and our climate” by Justin Wood and Kelly Vilar

Op-Ed: “N.Y. should pass the HEAT Act to save on energy and our climate” by Justin Wood and Kelly Vilar

Justin Wood, director of Policy at NYLPI, and Kelly Vilar, CEO of Staten Island Urban Center, penned an op-ed about the vital inclusion of the New York HEAT Act in the New York State Budget. "While our borough has enormous potential to generate local renewable...

Justin Wood Chosen as One of Crain’s New York Businesses’s 2024 Notable Leaders in Sustainability

Justin Wood Chosen as One of Crain’s New York Businesses’s 2024 Notable Leaders in Sustainability

Justin Wood, director of Policy at NYLPI, was honored in Crain's New York Business's 2024 Notable Leaders in Sustainability list. Wood was a founding member of the Transform Don’t Trash New York City campaign, and helped pass the Waste Equity Law of 2018 and the...

Op-Ed: “N.Y. should pass the HEAT Act to save on energy and our climate” by Justin Wood and Kelly Vilar

NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood To Be Honored at City & State’s First Clean Energy Awards on April 24

NYLPI Director of Policy Justin Wood is among the honorees for City & State's inaugural clean energy awards, the Trailblazers, and will be celebrated at a reception on April 24, 2024. This new award is for innovators and groundbreakers in New York's clean energy...

NYLPI Joins National Campaign for Transit Justice Letter Urging Congress to Fund ILJA and Make Public Transit Dependable, Accessible

NYLPI Joins National Campaign for Transit Justice Letter Urging Congress to Fund ILJA and Make Public Transit Dependable, Accessible

NYLPI joins transit, climate and energy and disability advocates in signing a letter to Senators Murray, Collins, Schatz and Hyde-Smith, and Representatives Granger, DeLauro, Cole, and Quigley, urging funding for the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act...

Suhali Méndez Will Be A Featured Panelist at NYC Electric School Bus Teach-In on April 10

Suhali Méndez Will Be A Featured Panelist at NYC Electric School Bus Teach-In on April 10

Suhali Méndez, Policy and Legislative Coordinator at NYLPI, will be a featured panelist at an NYC Electric School Bus Teach-In on April 10, presented by Empire Clean Cities, New York League of Conservation Voters and Highland Electric Fleets. Learn more and RSVP...

Crain’s NY: Ruth Lowenkron On Failures of B-HEARD, Win Rozario’s Death

Crain’s NY: Ruth Lowenkron On Failures of B-HEARD, Win Rozario’s Death

CRAIN'S NEW YORK | APRIL 2024 Ruth Lowenkron, director of Disability Justice at NYLPI, was featured in a Crain's New York story about the failures of New York City's non-police pilot program for mental health crises calls, B-HEARD, after Win Rozario, another New...

NYLPI’s Fiscal Year 2025 City Budget Priorities

NYLPI’s Fiscal Year 2025 City Budget Priorities

As FY25 budget negotiations continue, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), our clients, and our partners have identified top legislative and budget priorities to advance Disability, Environmental, and Health Justice in New York City. Each of these...

Op-Ed: “Congestion Pricing and Equal Access” by Jo Anne Simon, Christopher Schuyler and Eman Rimawi-Doster

Op-Ed: “Congestion Pricing and Equal Access” by Jo Anne Simon, Christopher Schuyler and Eman Rimawi-Doster

Christopher Schuyler, managing attorney with the Disability Justice Program, and Eman Rimawi-Doster, senior organizer with the Disability Justice Program, together with Jo Anne Simon, a New York State Assembly Member and disability civil rights lawyer, wrote...

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