Press Releases

Aug 9, 2016: Advocates Call for Comprehensive Response following Sharp Increases in Drug Overdose Deaths in NYC

New York, NY –Today’s release of 2015 drug overdose mortality data from the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) shows the devastation of overdose in New York City, where nearly 7,200 people lost their lives to the epidemic in the past 10 years. 2015 saw the highest death rate and absolute number of overdose deaths since the 1990s—including large increases in deaths in the Bronx, which has an overdose death rate that is double that of Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn and the largest number of overdose deaths, and a 51 percent increase in overdose deaths among Latinos citywide from 2014 to 2015.

Jul 22, 2016: U.S. appeals court finds Texas Voter ID law Discriminatory

The full U.S.Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled on Wednesday that a Texas law requiring voters to show a government-issued form of photo identification before casting a ballot is discriminatory and violates Section 2 of the U.S. Voting Rights Act.

Jul 14, 2016: NYS Senate & Assembly pass Justice for Job Seekers bill

On the last day of the 2015-16 legislative session, the NYS Assembly and the Senate passed the Justice for Job Seekers bill (S.8102/A.10672)! Once signed by Governor Cuomo, the bill will provide meaningful protections to low-wage immigrant workers as they look for work in the state of New York.

Jul 8, 2016: LatinoJustice apoya a quienes promueven una reforma policial que diga “Promovemos justicia, no asesinato”

Anoche en Dallas, Texas cinco miembros de la policía fueron asesinados en un motín que empezó pacíficamente para denunciar la muerte de dos Afro-Americanos por la policía unos días anterior.

Jul 8, 2016: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Stands with Police Reform Advocates who say “We Advocate Justice Not Murder”

Five police officers, were killed last night at what started out as a peaceful rally in Dallas, Texas protesting the killing of two black men by police 24 hours earlier.

Jul 7, 2016: Statement from Juan Cartagena on the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille

We live in a place that relies on foreign newspapers to tell us how many black and brown persons are killed at the hands of police.

Jul 5, 2016: María D. Meléndez Elected as Board Chair of LatinoJustice PRLDEF

María D. Meléndez, a partner at the international law firm of Sidley Austin LLP, was elected as Chair of the Board of Directors of LatinoJustice PRLDEF during its last quarterly board meeting.


This morning, the Supreme Court affirmed the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in Fisher v. University of Texas, and held that the University of Texas at Austin’s race-conscious admission program is lawful under the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Late last year, MALDEF and LatinoJustice PRLDEF filed an amicus brief on behalf of over 20 national Latino advocacy groups supporting the race-conscious admissions program. Statements from MALDEF and LatinoJustice in reaction to today’s decision are below.

Jun 23, 2016: LatinoJustice is Disappointed by Supreme Court Split Decision Affirming Judgment That Blocks DAPA and Keeps Millions of Immigrants in the Shadows

The administration in November 2014 announced the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) initiative as well as an expansion of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Texas and 25 other states subsequently filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Texas challenging the President’s executive actions. The new deferred action programs were enjoined by a federal district court judge in February 2015 which decision was subsequently upheld by a split 2-1 panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in November 2015. The federal government then appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Jun 21, 2016: Fifteen Puerto Rican Farmworkers File Complaint with the EEOC for Discrimination

Fifteen Puerto Rican farmworkers who were recruited to work in Michigan and were all fired after repeated comments comparing them to other Latino workers, filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission charging discrimination on the basis of their national origin.

Jun 14, 2016: SCOTUS Ruling leaves Puerto Rico’s debt woes in U.S. Congress’ hands

For the second time in a week, the Supreme Court has again rejected Puerto Rico’s attempts to exercise its self-governing powers — this time, nullifying the island’s legislative enactment of its own bankruptcy law which would have provided a way to enable it to work its own way out of more than $20 billion in public debt. The five-to-two ruling in Puerto Rico v. Franklin California Tax-Free Trust on Monday further limited Puerto Rico’s plenary powers by precluding the island from trying to unilaterally restructure the huge financial debt incurred by its public utilities.

Jun 10, 2016: 2017-2018 Public Interest Fellowship

Public Interest Fellowships Are Available at LatinoJustice PRLDEF for Fall 2017

May 11, 2016: LatinoJustice mourns the passing of Activist Lawyer and Civil Rights Icon, Ramón Jiménez

LatinoJustice PRLDEF mourns the passing of civil rights lawyer Ramón Jiménez, who fought countless battles in the name of protecting the rights of low wage families, students, the homeless and many others in need. He fought for civil rights for the past 5 decades.

Apr 20, 2016: Landmark Settlement Reached in Census Bureau Employment Discrimination Hiring Case

After six years of difficult litigation, the United States Department of Commerce today entered into a landmark class action settlement in Gonzalez et. al. v. Penny Pritzker, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce,(formerly, Houser v. Pritzker) resolving the claims of African American and Latino plaintiffs whose employment applications for over one million temporary jobs for the 2010 decennial census had been rejected by the De-partment’s Census Bureau by using an unlawful criminal background check policy to screen applicants. About four million applicants had sought temporary jobs involving data collection and door-to-door requesting information from residents for the 2010 decennial census.

Apr 16, 2016: LatinoJustice & other Human Rights Groups Denounce U.S.-Mexico Campaign to Interdict and Summarily Deport Central American Refugees

Over 35 faith-based groups and human rights organizations filed a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of the Organization of American States denouncing the joint campaign of the United States and Mexico--the infamous Plan Frontera Sur--to interdict and summarily deport persons--including thousands of children and families--fleeing rampant violence in Central America's "northern triangle": Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.

Apr 4, 2016: Supreme Court Rejects Redistricting Challenge that Would Have Disenfranchised Latinos

WASHINGTON –– The Supreme Court unanimously ruled today in Evenwel v. Abbott that a state or locality is allowed to draw its legislative districts based on total population alone. The Supreme Court found that as constitutional history, precedent, and practice demonstrate, a state or locality may draw its legislative districts based upon total population rather than utilizing a voter-population baseline.

Mar 15, 2016: Leaders Outline Stakes for Latino Community in Looming Supreme Court Nomination, Launch National Campaign

Members of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of the nation's 40 preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, and Hispanics for a Fair Judiciary (HFJ), a non-partisan network of elected officials, legal, civil rights, labor, academic and political leaders, spoke on the issues at stake for the Latino community if Senate leaders continue to refuse to give full consideration, including a hearing and a vote, to any Supreme Court nominee this year. They also outlined components of a national campaign to urge the Senate to act, including direct outreach to Senators on Capitol Hill and in their home states, events across the country, and social media efforts to mobilize Latino engagement.

Mar 4, 2016: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Criticizes DA Plea Bargain and Sentence of Sgt. Greene

In one of the biggest hate crime prosecutions in the history of New York State, affecting 26 Latino victims of multiple acts of larceny and racial profiling by a uniformed member of the Suffolk County Police Department (SCPD), the Suffolk County District Attorney today failed to recommend a minimum set criminal term of imprisonment against defendant SCPD Sgt. Scott Greene.

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