Press Releases

Mar 6, 2017: LatinoJustice Applauds Supreme Court Decision on Ruling Regarding Jury Racial Bias

Racial bias has no place in the jury room nor anywhere during the engagement points of stops, arrests, charges, bail, conviction and sentencing decisions that Latinas and Latinos are subjected to every day in America. Today’s decision is a step in the ameliorating the worse aspects of bias and stereotypes that would have deprived persons of liberty if kept unchecked.” said Juan Cartagena, President and General Counsel at LatinoJustice

Mar 6, 2017: Statement of Juan Cartagena President & General Counsel On the Florida Supreme Court Hearing On the Review of a State Constitutional Referendum To Restore Voting Rights to People with Past Felony Convictions

This morning the Florida Supreme Court held oral arguments on a request by the Florida Attorney General for an advisory opinion from the Supreme Court on a proposed constitutional amendment to restore voting rights to hundreds of thousands of Floridians with prior felony convictions upon completion of the terms of their sentences. The referendum to amend Florida’s constitution and reverse felon disfranchisement in that State (with exceptions for convictions for murder or sexual offenses) is a major step in aligning Florida with many other states in the country who restore voting rights upon completion of criminal sentences.

Feb 27, 2017: Faith and Immigrant-Rights Advocates Held Vigil Outside of Maryland Mother of Four’s ICE Check-In

BALTIMORE (FEBRUARY 27, 2017) - Faith and immigrant-rights advocates will hold a vigil and press conference at 11 a.m. Monday, February 27, in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Baltimore office as we await the outcome of a decision that could rip a mother of four away from her family.

Feb 27, 2017: Faith and Immigrant Advocates Hold Vigil for Immigrant Mom

BALTIMORE (FEBRUARY 27, 2017) - Faith and immigrant-rights advocates will hold a vigil and press conference at 11 a.m. Monday, February 27, in front of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Baltimore office as we await the outcome of a decision that could rip a mother of four away from her family.

Feb 15, 2017: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Statement on the Detention of DREAMER Daniel Ramirez Medina

LatinoJustice PRLDEF denounces the detention by ICE of Daniel Ramirez Medina during a home raid at his father’s home in Seattle. All reports to date indicate that Mr. Ramirez Medina was detained unlawfully notwithstanding his having reported his DACA deferred action status and concurrent employment authorization.

Feb 13, 2017: Re-entry and Legal Advocates File Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court

“Over 70 million Americans, nearly a third of the entire civilian workforce have some form of criminal history record today,” notes Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “Excessive policing and policies that focus on minor nonviolent offenses have exacerbated this problem especially for black and Latino communities but in all marginalized communities of the country. Best practices show that this focus does not promote public safety and the consequences in the labor market are devastating because of employment background checks. Judge Gleeson’s decision to order the expungement in this case is an important judicial check on abuse of authority in the co-branches of government.”

Feb 8, 2017: Advocacy Groups and Legal Scholars: Miami-Dade County Immigration Jail Policy Will Not Lead to Loss of Federal Funding

Numerous legal scholars, and local advocacy groups urged the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners to uphold a county resolution that has saved millions of tax dollars and improved community relations with police by not requiring officers to detain people for immigration authorities in county jails. The resolution’s future has been imperiled by Mayor Carlos Giménez’s Jan. 26 directive that the county hold immigrants for the federal government at taxpayer expense.

Feb 2, 2017: Settlement Will End Unconstitutional NYPD Stops, Frisks and Arrests in Clean Halls Buildings

Civil rights groups announced a settlement today with the NYPD that will reform the program under which police officers patrol inside thousands of private apartment buildings across New York City. Under the settlement with the New York Civil Liberties Union, The Bronx Defenders, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the law firm of Shearman & Sterling in the federal class-action case Ligon v. City of New York, the NYPD must comply with clear standards limiting stops, frisks and arrests of people in buildings enrolled in the program. The NYPD must also train and supervise officers involved in this enforcement activity, tighten standards for building participation in the program, submit to years of monitoring, and pay nearly a quarter million dollars to the lead plaintiffs in the case. The federal court in Manhattan must still approve the settlement.

Jan 31, 2017: Latino Workers File Federal Complaint Against Hudson Valley’s Ideal Snacks

Two Latino factory workers filed a complaint against Ideal Snacks Corp for violating the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act of 1988. The complaint, filed in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York, describes a mass layoff by the company in May 2015 affecting over 200 employees, exceeding half of its then work force, in violation of the WARN Act.

Jan 31, 2017: LatinoJustice President Juan Cartagena Statement Opposing Judge Gorsuch Nomination as Supreme Court Justice

The nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court cannot be assessed simply by looking at his judicial record – a record that apparently shows that he has antipathy for plaintiffs who seek to expand civil rights protections to be more inclusive of our diverse society, that he will likely side with business interests over workers’ rights, and that he may imperil women’s rights and reproductive rights. Indeed, as an extremely conservative jurist his record is alarming to many of us who recognize the impact of nominating a person of his relatively young age to the highest court.

Jan 27, 2017: LatinoJustice PRLDEF and Center for Investigative Journalism Request Information About Puerto Rico’s Fiscal Control Board

San Juan, PR – Several rights groups filed a request with the White House, Treasury Department and the Office of Government Ethics on January 26, 2017 under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA for information concerning the federal fiscal control board established under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) began the comprehensive, public and legal process with the support of LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the Center for Constitutional Rights, both based in New York, who are representing CPI with respect to the FOIA requests.

Jan 27, 2017: Robert Garcia, Former Congressman and LatinoJustice PRLDEF Board Member, Dies at 84

Former Bronx Congressman and LatinoJustice PRLDEF board member Robert García died this week in Puerto Rico. He was 84. Garcia was raised in the South Bronx to Puerto Rican parents. He served in the Army during the Korean War and was awarded two Bronze Stars for valor.

Jan 17, 2017: President Obama Pardons Puerto Rican Activist Oscar López Rivera

After 36 years in prison, Puerto Rican activist Oscar López Rivera was pardoned by President Obama just days before leaving office. Rivera, whose pardon has been advocated by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, hundreds of organizations, activists, world leaders and Pope Francis will be released from federal prison within the next four months.

Jan 13, 2017: LatinoJustice and DEMOS Release Framework and Recommendations to Empower State and Local Governments and Institutions to Provide Sanctuary for Immigrants

New York, NY – Demos and LatinoJustice PRLDEF released a report designed to equip state and local jurisdictions and institutions with much-needed guidance to establish community policies that welcome and protect immigrants. The report, titled “Sanctuary, Safety, and Community – Tools for Welcoming and Protecting Immigrants through Local Democracy,” is available in English and Spanish.

Jan 12, 2017: Civil Rights Groups Applaud DOJ’s Intervention in Lawsuit Against New York City Board of Elections

Washington, D.C.—The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), together with Common Cause/New York, LatinoJustice PRLDEF and the law firm of Dechert LLP, applaud the Justice Department for filing a motion to intervene in their lawsuit against the New York City Board of Elections (NYC BOE).

Jan 11, 2017: Top Elected Officials, Clergy, And Human Rights Leaders To Deliver Petitions To White House Today Demanding Clemency For Imprisoned Puerto Rican Activist

January 11, 2017, Washington D.C. - Prominent supporters of imprisoned Puerto Rican independence activist Oscar López Rivera, who turned 74 years old last week in his thirty-fifth year behind bars, will deliver 100,000 petitions to the White House this afternoon, Wednesday, January 11. Grammy-award winning artist Rene Perez, Illinois Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, Florida Congressman Darren Soto, New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz Soto, will lead the delegation demanding that President Obama use his presidential power of pardon to grant López Rivera clemency in the last week of Obama’s tenure in office. “Our deeply profound and moral commitment to Oscar and his freedom,” asserted the group, “once again brings us to the gates of the White House.” Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice is a part of the delegation.

Dec 15, 2016: New Digital Feature Seeks to Measure Accuracy of Criminal Justice Data on Latinos

In an attempt to determine the amount of missing data that would be needed to help policymakers and advocates understand Latinos’ relationship to criminal justice, the Urban Institute has launched a new digital feature that seeks to address the lack of data available on Latinos in the criminal justice system.

Dec 12, 2016: LatinoJustice Seeks $98,000 In Backwages for Undocumented Immigrant Building Worker Under Special State Minimum Wage Law

By day he was a fulltime porter cleaning a Bronx apartment building with over 70 apartments. Juan Valdez (pseudonym used to protect his identity) worked seven days a week for the past six years in exchange for a free room in the basement of the building without receiving any pay from his employer as mandated by law. At night and on his off time, he would collect empty bottles and cans in order to try and earn enough money to buy food.

Nov 14, 2016: Our Resolve Has Not Changed

The result of the presidential election has created much fear, concern and angst in the Latino and broader community. We are already hearing stories of Latinos being harassed by those who now feel more freedom to target our community. But the results did not change the work of LatinoJustice, nor our focus and our commitment to mobilize to advance civil and human rights for the full diversity of Latino communities, and our broader society.

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