Press Releases


Aug 16, 2018: Voting Rights Advocates Sue to Bring Bilingual Elections to 32 Florida Counties

“At a time when Puerto Rican U.S. citizens are still reeling from the damage of Hurricane Maria and the fiscal crisis on the island, and are seeking to establish community throughout Florida, we must uphold the law and provide Puerto Ricans the Spanish-language assistance and materials as required under the Voting Rights Act,” said Kira Romero-Craft, Managing Attorney at LatinoJustice’s Orlando office. “Democracy is at stake here. There is no viable excuse for these Supervisors of Elections to shirk their responsibilities to ensure that all citizens are able to vote effectively in the upcoming elections, especially in a state such as Florida.”

Aug 13, 2018: Latino Leaders Launch Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary, Expressing Concern with SCOTUS Nominee

Washington, DC – On August 10th, a group of Latino leaders launched “Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary,” (HFJ) a network of Latino elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, and academic voices committed to raising awareness around the impact federal courts and judges have on the Latino community.

Aug 3, 2018: Sifting Through the Lies About the Census Citizenship Question

NEW YORK, NY - Today, the New York Counts 2020 coalition held a press call to provide an update on efforts to combat the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. The New York Counts 2020 Coalition is comprised of more than eighty organizations engaged in litigation, community outreach, education, and advocacy.


En el 3 de agosto 2018 en Chicago, Illinois el American Bar Association otorgará su Premio John Marshall a Juan Cartagena, abogado de derechos civiles y constitucionales, quien ha dirigido LatinoJustice PRLDEF desde 2011. El premio, establecido en 2001 por la División Judicial y el Comité Sobre el Sistema Judicial Americano, reconoce a personas dedicadas al mejoramiento de la administración de la justicia. Los premiados se escogen por tener un impacto positivo a nivel nacional en el sistema de justicia por medio de promover reformas de la misma y enaltecer el conocimiento público sobre sus operaciones.


On August 3, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois the American Bar Association will confer its John Marshall Award to Juan Cartagena, a civil rights and constitutional law attorney who has led LatinoJustice PRLDEF since 2011. Created in 2001 by the ABA’s Judicial Division and Standing Committee on the American Judicial System, the John Marshall Award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to the improvement of the administration of justice. Recipients are chosen among those who make a positive national impact on the justice system by promoting its reform and public awareness.

Aug 1, 2018: Judge Extends TSA to August 31st Pending Ruling on TRO

Summary: Judge Hillman heard oral arguments in our case against FEMA seeking a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent massive evictions of evacuees from Puerto Rico staying in hotels nationwide under the Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) program. He issued an oral ruling to extend his prior order of a TSA extension to August 31st and reserved ruling on the TRO until then.

Jul 31, 2018: Legal and Journalistic Organizations Sue FEMA for Failing to Release Records On Hurricane Maria Relief Efforts

San Juan, P.R. | Washington, D.C. — On behalf of the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico and LatinoJustice, Democracy Forward Foundation filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for failing to release records detailing information about its response to the disaster.

Jul 30, 2018: Declaración de LatinoJustice PRLDEF sobre la descolonización de Puerto Rico

Como institución fundada en los principios de derecho e igualdad, LatinoJustice PRLDEF apoya el ejercicio libre e independiente de derechos humandos fundamentales por todos los puertorriqueños, y hacemos un llamado para una verdadera descolonización de Puerto Rico.

Jul 19, 2018: Judge Extends FEMA TSA Aid to Midnight August 6th Pending Further Hearing

After reviewing filings from both sides, Massachusetts Federal Court Judge Timothy S. Hillman today issued an order extending the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) directing FEMA to continue providing Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) to evacuees from Puerto Rico until at least midnight on August 6th (enabling Plaintiffs and the class to stay until checkout time on August 7, 2018.

Jul 3, 2018: Judge Extends FEMA Aid for Hurricane Maria Evacuees Pending Formal Hearing

Today, Judge Timothy S. Hillman issued an order backing extension of temporary restraining order (TRO) to July 23rd pending a formal hearing on the class action complaint seeking Relief for Hurricane Maria Evacuees. The plaintiffs seeking relief were represented by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, and the Law Office of Héctor Piñeiro. This ruling reaffirms the importance of Puerto Rican evacuees having their day in the court and the need for aid that services the needs of our community beyond FEMA’s current understanding.

Jul 2, 2018: Update on Legal Challenge to Extend Housing Assistance for Puerto Ricans

Summary: Today was the hearing on the potential extension of FEMA housing assistance for Puerto Ricans displaced because of Hurricane Maria. The legal team is eagerly awaiting Judge Hillman’s decision about extending the temporary restraining order pending full evidentiary merits hearing on the motion.

Jun 30, 2018: Temporary Restraining Order Filed to Stop Evictions of Families Displaced by Hurricane Maria

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national civil rights organization, and Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, LLP and the Law Offices of Hector E. Pineiro filed a lawsuit along with a request for a nationwide injunction in federal court in Massachusetts to halt the eviction process of nearly 2,000 evacuees from Puerto Rico who are currently residing in hotels. After Hurricane Maria, a category 5 storm, devastated Puerto Rico in 2017, thousands were forced to flee and have been staying in hotels and motels throughout the United States under the Temporary Shelter Assistance (TSA) program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA has arbitrarily decided to end the TSA program on June 30, 2018, evicting hundreds of Puerto Rican families this weekend without providing them with alternative housing options. If evacuees - who include young children, the elderly, disabled, and those with serious medical needs - are evicted from their hotels, they will face potential homelessness or placement in shelter systems. FEMA’s actions are not only immoral, they are unlawful and violate the very purpose of their existence: to provide immediate and transitional relief to those impacted by disasters. The lawsuit seeks to detain the immediate evictions of hundreds of evacuees and to require FEMA to extend alternative housing assistance to all eligible individuals.

Jun 26, 2018: Immigrant Justice Update: Crisis on the Border and in the Courts

The LJP Familia is shocked and dismayed by the barrage of immigrant justice reversals being perpetrated by the current administration. While we are processing how we’ve come to this point, we want you, our community, to know how we are tackling these assaults on our collective rights. We need the help of our allies now more than ever. You can make a difference by raising your voice, volunteering and donating.

Jun 26, 2018: Muslim Ban Ruling Reinforces Blanket Discrimination

LatinoJustice joins Muslim brothers and sisters around the country to reject this blanket discrimination of people based on national identity

Jun 20, 2018: LJP Statement on the Executive Order on Family Separation Codifies Violations of the Rule of Law

New York, NY - President Trump has implemented an unnecessary "Zero Tolerance" policy that separated children at the border from their families. As a result of this, immigrants who have fled trauma or violence are faced with further trauma and heartbreak. Trump now wants to undo the harm his administration created by way of an Executive Order. Below is LatinoJustice's response to the Executive Order on Family Separation.

Jun 18, 2018: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Statement on the Decolonization of Puerto Rico

New York, NY – Today the United Nations is hosting a conversation that has plagued Puerto Rico for centuries, the question of Decolonization. The conversation at the UN will take into consideration the international norms on decolonization as well the recent developments around the debt crisis in Puerto Rico and Hurricane Maria recovery. LatinoJustice PRLDEF has been involved at all stages of the historical and recent developments, it is with this in mind that LatinoJustice PRLDEF issues the following statement:

Jun 12, 2018: LatinoJustice’s Ninth Annual Latina Trailblazers

New York, NY - Today LatinoJustice honored four Latina Trailblazers who have broken countless barriers to be leaders both in their industry and for the Latino/a community. Whether as community advocates or legal powerhouses, these Latinas epitomize the diversity and achievement of the Latina professional experience.

Jun 11, 2018: Supreme Court Ruling Sanctions Voter Suppression Civil and Human Rights Groups Cite Ruling as Major Problem for Communities of Color

Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Supreme Court dealt a blow to the civil rights fight against voter suppression tactics in a 5-4 ruling in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, et al., where the Court upheld Ohio’s aggressive practice of purging voters for simply not voting. In an amicus brief filed in 2017, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, LatinoJustice PRLDEF, and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, were joined by 19 organizations who conveyed that the aggressive practice used in Ohio of purging voter rolls of individuals who had not voted in a two-year period, is harmful to communities of color, especially those with limited English proficiency in the Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Latinx communities.

Jun 4, 2018: Mayor’s Proposal to Address Diversity in NYC’s Specialized High School Admissions Is Too Little Too Late

New York, NY - LatinoJustice PRLDEF, The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Center for Law & Social Justice at Medgar Evers College are deeply concerned about New York City’s lack of significant progress and commitment to educational reform of its admissions policies for the City’s specialized high schools. The Mayor’s recently announced reforms are a good start but the reforms may be “too little too late”. Four consecutive years of admissions data under this administration paint a dismal picture of narrowing equal opportunity, and again raises questions as to why so few Latinx and Black public school students are being accepted into NYC’s eight specialized high schools.

May 30, 2018: Statement On The Death Toll in Puerto Rico

We are horrified and not surprised by a new study just released by the New England Journal of Medicine showing that approximately 4,645 people died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Despite the government of Puerto Rico’s position that the official count remains at 64 deaths, scientists and independent journalist organizations like the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo in Puerto Rico have been researching and documenting what the government has refused to acknowledge and even tried to hide: the deaths of thousands of Puerto Ricans as a result of gross negligence by all levels of government. The death count – which is unknown and could be closer to 8,000 – was not directly caused by the hurricane, but rather by the tremendous incompetence and negligence of government in the months following. Thousands of people were denied access to food and water, as well as critical healthcare and shelter. Hundreds of thousands were forced to leave the island to seek medical attention, housing and economic opportunities elsewhere. Local government officials decided to politicize relief efforts, noting that the federal government had provided all the aid requested, while communities across the island were left abandoned and without access to fundamental services and goods critical for survival.

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