Press Releases

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May 21, 2018: LatinoJustice Rejects the Vilification of the Latino Community for Political Gain

Earlier today the White house released a statement that further vilifies the Latino community. This statement was released the week when a forum is being hosted on Long Island to allegedly address gang violence on Long Island. Juan Cartagena, LatinoJustice’s President and General Counsel, issued the following statement in response:

May 17, 2018: Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform Responds to Ninth Judicial Circuit Bail Reform Announcement

Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced today that people arrested for certain minor offense should be released on their own recognizance and without monetary bail. The list of offenses include: misdemeanor cannabis possession, drug paraphernalia possession, driving on a suspended license, driving without a tag or valid registration, disorderly conduct, panhandling and loitering.

May 11, 2018: LatinoJustice Applauds the NYC Bar Associations Support for Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act

LatinoJustice PRLDEF applauds the call of the New York City Bar Association for a permanent exemption for Puerto Rico from the crippling effects of the antiquated, maritime requirements of the Jones Act which exacts a high price for food, goods, energy, and equipment shipped to the island

May 8, 2018: NHLA CONDEMNS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION DECISION TO END TPS FOR HONDURANS

"It is US foreign policy that destabilized central America. It is our obligation to treat Hondurans with the safety protections that human rights law requires. It is an affront to all Central Americans and Latinos generally that this administration refuses to protect the rights of legitimate refugees," said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

May 7, 2018: Statement Joining Puerto Rico’s Legal Community in Opposition To the Transfer of 3,200 Prisoners in Puerto Rico to Private Prisons in the U.S.

On Wednesday, 25 April 2018 Juan Cartagena joined an illustrious group of lawyers, law professors, civil and constitutional rights leaders from Puerto Rico who oppose the local government’s plan to transfer 3,200 prisoners in Puerto Rico to privately administered prisons in the United States. The comprehensive statement in opposition (below) raises serious human rights concerns over the government’s plan to seek “voluntary” transfers to U.S. based private prisons given both the absurdity of securing voluntary compliance and the litany of violence and prisoner abuse in the private sector.

May 4, 2018: NAACP Legal Defense Fund and LatinoJustice Issue Joint Statement on Puerto Rico Police Response to May Day Protests

Earlier this week, Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) officers responded to a May Day march to protest school closures and austerity measures by using tear gas and violence against demonstrators, press, and legal observers. According to the ACLU of Puerto Rico, the PRPD response continued after the conclusion of the protests with warrantless arrests of demonstrators in their homes and dorm rooms. Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel for LatinoJustice and Sherrilyn A. Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following joint statement in response:

Apr 26, 2018: IMMIGRANT RIGHTS ADVOCATES DEMAND END TO ICE RAIDS IN NEW YORK STATE COURTS

NEW YORK – April 26, 2018 – A coalition of New York-based immigrant rights advocates are calling for an end to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) continued courthouse raids that trample the Constitutional rights of immigrant New Yorkers. The demand comes a day after Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order to prohibit ICE arrests in state facilities without a warrant and highlighted ICE’s unconstitutional practices across the state.

Apr 23, 2018: KOREAN AND LATINO WORKERS AT KOREAN RESTAURANT IN NYC WIN ENFORCEMENT OF WAGE THEFT JUDGMENT OF $2.7 MILLION

::New York, NY:: A Manhattan federal court ruled on Wednesday, April 18, 2018, that the owner of the Kum Gang San restaurants, Ji Sung Yoo, fraudulently transferred his property to his wife in order to avoid paying a wage theft judgment of $2.7 million to 11 Asian and Latino workers.

Mar 27, 2018: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Statement On the Addition of Citizenship Question to the 2020 Census

“This administration is once again exalting certain “persons” in the United States over others in a capricious, harmful and alarming way to demean and devalue the contributions of all residents,” said Juan Cartagena, president and general counsel, LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “The 14th Amendment protects all “persons” not just citizens of our country. It has long been settled and accepted that all people – regardless of their citizenship, place of birth, religion or any other standard – are counted and are encouraged to participate in the census. The inclusion of the U.S. Citizenship question contradicts our values as a country of immigrants.”

Mar 20, 2018: US Government Relents and Will Swear in Latina Soldier Who Sued for Delaying Her Citizenship Application

A Latina soldier in the United States Army Reserve who sued the US Government for indefinitely delaying her citizenship application was sworn in today.

Mar 20, 2018: LEGAL GROUPS AND PUERTO RICAN INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALISTS SEEK ANSWERS ON FEMA’S INADEQUATE AND INHUMANE RESPONSE TO HURRICANE MARIA

Legal organizations based in the U.S., working with investigative journalists in Puerto Rico, filed multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) seeking detailed information concerning the agency’s inadequate, and often incomprehensible, efforts to provide emergency relief after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017.

Mar 9, 2018: Jerónimo Saldaña Joins LatinoJustice as Co-Director of a New Latinx Justice Reform Collaborative

Jerónimo Saldaña has joined LatinoJustice PRLDEF as the leader of a new national Latinx collaborative that will focus on ending the over criminalization of communities of color. Jerónimo will co-direct the Justice Reform Collaborative, a national effort to elevate the voices of Latinxs on criminal justice reform issues.

Mar 8, 2018: Jason Hernandez, Granted Clemency by Former President Obama, Named LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s First Media Fellow

Jason Hernandez, one of the first individuals to receive clemency under President Barack Obama, was named as LatinoJustice PRLDEF’s inaugural Media Fellow under a new grant recommended by The Open Philanthropy Project. The fellowship program is intended to allow a member of the Latinx community to document and eventually publish an account of his or her direct involvement with the criminal justice and correction system.

Mar 8, 2018: Latina Soldier Sues US Government for Delaying Her Citizenship Application

A Latina soldier in the United States Army Reserve sued the US Government for indefinitely delaying her citizenship application which has been pending adjudication for almost a year.

Feb 22, 2018: Federal Judge Approves Latinojustice As Class Counsel In $200,000 Workplace Settlement

On January 31, 2018 Judge Vincent Briccetti of the United States Southern District Court preliminarily approved a proposed settlement agreement from Plaintiffs and Defendant Ideal Snacks Corp. based on terms agreed in their August 2017 Mediation. Class certification and class agents were also approved.

Feb 7, 2018: Immigrant Building Worker Secures $44,000 in Back Wages Under Special State Minimum Wage Law

A building porter who often worked seven days a week in exchange for a free room in the basement of a building but was never paid a salary was awarded almost $50,000 in unpaid wages after he filed a back wages claim with the New York Department of Labor.

Jan 11, 2018: Latina Workers Sue Hudson Valley’s Ideal Snacks for Sexual Discrimination

Seven Latina factory workers on January 5, 2018 filed a sexual harassment suit against Ideal Snacks Corp citing numerous instances of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation by its managers and supervisors.

Jan 10, 2018: National Poll Shows Latinos Are Concerned About Police Violence, Feel Less Safe Under Trump But Insist on Increased Spending on Rehabilitation Instead of More Funding for Prisons or Police

Latinos favor spending on rehabilitation programs and treatment over prisons and police in response to their significant concerns over the criminal justice system and their public safety. More than 50% of Latinxs are convinced that police use deadly force unjustly against their community and a wide majority of Latinas feel less safe since President Trump was elected. As a measure of Latino support of reentry in general, over three-quarters of Latinxs also support restoring the vote to people convicted of crimes.

Jan 8, 2018: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Releases First Ever National Survey that Documents Latinxs’ Experiences and Opinions about the Criminal Justice System

LatinoJustice PRLDEF commissioned a national poll of Latino community members to document their experiences and opinions about the criminal justice system. Conducted by Latino Decisions, the poll is the first of its kind within the Latinx community and it reveals data on Latino concerns about public safety, police relations, solutions to the problems they face in the criminal justice system, and their own experiences with crime and policing. As the country continues to address criminal justice reform this national poll highlights how Latino communities are an indispensable ally in the efforts to secure a fair, restorative and comprehensive approach to public safety.

Dec 20, 2017: Latino Leaders Call On Congress Not To Abandon Kids, Dreamers, Or Puerto Rico Before Leaving The Capitol For The Holidays

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations which includes LatinoJustice, is calling on Congress to address pressing issues facing the Latino community before adjourning until the new year. Congress must pass a measure to fund the federal government beyond December 22 in order to avoid a federal government shutdown.

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