Press Releases

Feb 23, 2016: NYS Board of Regents Proposal Removes Obstacles to Licenses for Non-­Citizens

Long Island City, NY — The New York State Board of Regents voted this week to begin a process to permit qualified non-­‐citizens to obtain professional licenses. Advocates from CUNY Law, its Center on Latino/a Rights and Equality (CLORE), LatinoJusticePRLDEF, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), and the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) successfully worked to persuade the Board that recent developments in federal and New York State courts removed prior restrictions.

Feb 22, 2016: Mourning the Passing of the Puerto Rican Leader and Community Activist Gilberto Gerena Valentín

On behalf of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, I extend our heartfelt condolences to the family of Gilberto Gerena Valentín who passed away this weekend in Lares, Puerto Rico. Mr. Gerena Valentín was a mainstay of Puerto Rican activism in New York City and throughout the Puerto Rican diáspora and he was a former client of mine in a major Voting Rights Act case in 1981.

Feb 3, 2016: Cesar Vargas is Sworn in as One of NY’s First DACAmented Lawyers

César Vargas, who was brought to the United States from Mexico when he was 5 years old and eventually graduated from law school, was sworn in as a lawyer today more than four years after passing the bar. Cesar was one of the first DREAMers to graduate from law school and apply for bar admission in New York State.

Jan 15, 2016: LatinoJustice applauds Supreme Court for Taking on Important Immigration case

LatinoJustice PRLDEF applauds the Supreme Court for deciding to hear an important immigration case before the end of this year’s term in June. A coalition of immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups had urged Supreme Court to protect President’s Executive Actions on Immigration.

Jan 15, 2016: Long Island Police Reform Group Decries Verdict in the Sgt. Greene Trial

Long Island advocates are calling on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Suffolk County Police Department (“SCPD”) after jurors found SCPD Sergeant Scott Greene not guilty on most of the charges related to targeting Latino drivers and robbing them of money. Many advocates are now calling for the DOJ to take control over Suffolk’s police force.

Jan 6, 2016: Release Oscar López Rivera

On the occasion of Oscar López Rivera’s 73rd birthday today, we demand that President Obama show compassion and release the country’s longest serving political prisoner. In his 34th year behind bars, the release of López Rivera is an international cause célèbre, which everyone from Bishop Desmond Tutu to members of Congress to South American presidents calling for his release.

Jan 5, 2016: Latino/a Health and Civil Rights Advocates File Amicus Brief in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, LatinoJustice joined the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH) and leading Latino/a health and civil rights groups in filing an amicus brief in support of the petitioners in Whole Woman’s Health v. Cole, a case the Supreme Court will hear on March 2 of this year, reviewing two pieces of Texas’ omnibus anti-abortion law, H.B. 2. The law has already resulted in the closure of most of the abortion clinics in the state. The brief was co-authored by Cynthia Soohoo, the CUNY School of Law International Women’s Human Rights Clinic and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer US LLP.

Dec 1, 2015: Coalition of Immigration, Civil Rights, Labor, and Social Service Groups Urges Supreme Court to Protect President’s Executive Actions on Immigration

A coalition of 224 immigration, civil rights, labor, and social service groups has filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief urging the Supreme Court to review Texas v. U.S., the case that has temporarily blocked some of President Obama’s executive actions on immigration. The filing comes less than a month after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction put in place by a Texas federal district court that blocked implementation of protections for millions of immigrants across the country.

Nov 16, 2015: LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and the Drug Policy Alliance to Strategize on Drug Policy and Criminal Justice Reforms

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) and the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) will convene a roundtable discussion on Latinos and the Criminal Justice System in Washington, D.C. this week. The meeting will be attended by some of the nation’s leading national Latino organizations, including MALDEF, LULAC, NCLR, and the Hispanic Federation, among many others.

Nov 16, 2015: Female Laundry Workers Receive $582,000 In Settlement of EEOC Sexual Harassment Case

Suffolk Laundry Services, Inc. will pay $582,000 to eight former Latina employees to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit. The company also agreed to implement new procedures and training on sexual harassment for all employees to ensure that these abuses do not reoccur in the future.

Nov 12, 2015: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Mourns the Passing of Civil Rights Champion Jackie Berrien

Juan Cartagena, President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF issued the following statement on the passing of attorney Jackie Berrien on Tuesday.

Nov 6, 2015: MALDEF and LatinoJustice PRLDEF File U.S. Supreme Court Brief on Behalf of Latino Organizations Addressing The Importance of Campus Diversity in Fisher v. University of Texas

LatinoJustice PRLDEF and MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court Monday in Fisher v. University of Texas on behalf of 25 Texas and national Latina/o organizations, including UT students in support of the race-conscious college admissions plan.

Oct 26, 2015: LatinoJustice PRLDEF Lawyer Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan Named President of National Lawyers Guild

Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, a staff attorney at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, has been named President of the National Lawyers Guild.

Oct 22, 2015: LatinoJustice Applauds Bipartisan Efforts to Establish Reforms to a Broken Criminal Justice System

LatinoJustice PRLDEF supports bipartisan efforts in the U.S. Senate as important first steps to establishing practical and important reforms that will transform a broken criminal justice system.

Oct 15, 2015: Latino Plaintiffs Robbed by Suffolk Police Score Double Victory in Court

The court decided to allow the victims to proceed anonymously with their challenge because of their “reasonable” fears of retaliation. Second, the Court agreed that the drivers could begin discovery on their claims that the SCPD racially profiled, harassed, and failed to provide police services to Latino drivers.

Oct 15, 2015: Immigrants and Advocates: NYS Proposed legislation jeopardizes relationship between immigrants and local law enforcement

Immigrant families and advocates held a Press Conference on Wednesday to express concerns about a NYS bill that will jeopardize important improvements in the relationship between immigrant communities and the police, and will make immigrants fearful to report crimes.

Sep 28, 2015: Civil Rights Groups File Supreme Court Brief Underscoring Equal Protection in “One Person, One Vote” Case

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, together with LatinoJustice PRLDEF and six other civil rights groups, filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case of Evenwel v. Abbott, which seeks to challenge the “one person, one vote” principle that legislative districts should be based on the total number of people who live within them.

Sep 11, 2015: LatinoJustice PRLDEF mourns the passing of Sara Rios

The entire family at LatinoJustice PRLDEF, our staff, our board, our students and our clients, all mourn the loss of a wonderful spirit, activist, attorney and foundation officer, our very own Sarita Elena Rios.

Sep 3, 2015: Victory: Law Targeting Latino Day Laborers Struck Down in Long Island

A federal district court today affirmed the right of Latino day laborers in Oyster Bay, Long Island to seek work in public spaces, following a lawsuit by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and LatinoJustice PRLDEF. The decision permanently struck down a town ordinance that prohibited people from soliciting work for violating the First Amendment.

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