Press Releases

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.

Nov 5, 2016: Civil Rights Groups Achieve Emergency Relief for Purged Voters in Lawsuit Against New York City Board of Elections

Following a hearing in a lawsuit seeking emergency relief for voters purged from the registration rolls in New York City, a federal judge ordered Friday night that the New York City Board of Elections must require poll workers across New York City to provide affidavit ballots to individuals who believe they were registered to vote but whose names do not appear on the registration rolls. Those affidavit ballots may be counted. The lawsuit, brought by LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the law firm of Dechert LLP, against the New York City Board of Elections (NYC BOE) was filed in federal court in the Eastern District of New York on behalf of Common Cause and individual plaintiffs, which challenged the NYC BOE’s premature removal of voters from the registration rolls, as violating the National Voter Registration Act.

Nov 4, 2016: LatinoJustice Launches Voter Protection App to Help Defend The Latino Vote

Today, LatinoJustice PRLDEF joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the law firm of Dechert LLP, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The lawsuit seeks emergency relief restoring the voting rights of New York City voters who were improperly removed from the rolls to ensure that their ballots will be counted this election cycle.

Nov 4, 2016: Civil Rights Groups Seek Emergency Relief for Purged New York Voters in Advance

Today, LatinoJustice PRLDEF joined the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee) and the law firm of Dechert LLP, filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The lawsuit seeks emergency relief restoring the voting rights of New York City voters who were improperly removed from the rolls to ensure that their ballots will be counted this election cycle.

Oct 17, 2016: LatinoJustice Launches Smartphone Voter Protection App for Latino Voters

LatinoJustice PRLDEF launched a new smartphone app and voter protection app tied to a broader Cada Voto Cuenta Voter Protection project to help citizens report voting violations while voting in the 2016 elections.

Sep 27, 2016: Voting Rights Groups Produce Spanish Language Voter Educational Materials for National Voter Registration Day

In order to help millions of Spanish speaking voters and respond to the lack of online voting information in Spanish, a coalition of voting rights groups have produced a series of helpful Spanish-language graphics and educational materials for National Voter Registration Day and Election Day. The materials are available online.

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.

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