Immigrant Justice

In recent years, LJP has been particularly active in addressing the proliferation of anti-immigrant ordinances and laws that flourished in the absence of federal immigration reform. Our advances in litigation were especially important and contributed to a growing trend of decisions that limit local law enforcement from engaging in federal immigration matters.

We counter harsh immigration enforcement at the local, state and federal level with a combination of impact litigation, advocacy and community organizing and education. We are one of a handful of organizations working on immigrants’ rights issues from the litigation side. Today, we are facing an openly hostile, anti-immigrant administration in Washington D.C., and our work to create a legal environment that permits all Latinos to enjoy the same civil liberties hard won by earlier waves of immigrants has never been more relevant and necessary.


Immigration Enforcement Policy

Latino/a communities are often targeted by excessive policing by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and this leads to a number of Civil Rights violations. In an effort to reduce and prevent these civil rights violations we are working within rapid response networks to provide support for individuals who have visits ICE visits and/or are picked up in ICE raids. There are a number of rights that everyone has as it relates to immigration enforcement and we remain vigilant in making sure that those rights are respected. You can see the slides from a Know Your Rights presentation that we participated in here.

Sanctuary Policy

Currently, approximately 400 jurisdictions – cities, states and counties – as well as numerous educational institutions, churches, and hospitals have taken steps to create sanctuary communities using the policies outlined in this report, but this is just the beginning. State and local governments and institutions should step up and seek to establish policies that protect immigrants. The report outlines the types of protections that are likely to be legally available for immigrants, as well as the rights of local communities to establish inclusive democracies, constitutional protections against racial profiling and protections that can be applied to schools. Read more about a report we developed about Sanctuary Policy here.

DACA Defense

The status of DACA has become a focal point for immigration policy. We have seen the future of DACA under attack in a number of situations and are working to defend DACA on a number of fronts while also expanding DACA rights. In Congress we are closely watching legislative solutions and threats while also engaging with our allies around defending DACA recipients who are picked up by ICE. Read about our statement regarding Daniel Ramirez Madina (a DACA recipient picked up by ICE) here.

Immigration Legislation

LatinoJustice follows a number of laws at the local and national level that could impact Immigrant Rights. Check back here regularly for updates on specific laws that hurt or benefit Immigrant Rights. The featured Immigrant Justice Legislation will be updated on a monthly basis. The first piece of legislation that we want to highlight is our challenge to anti-immigrant legislation that developed in Hazleton. The anti-immigrant law had a similar look and impact as anti-immigrant laws that popped up around the country and when it popped up in Pennsylvania we knew we had to stop it from going any further. You can read about our victory in Hazleton here.

Immigrant Justice Updates

Westchester Activists Urge DA to Create Special Unit to Serve Immigrant Community

LatinoJustice PRLDEF, the Hudson Valley Community Coalition and the Westpac Foundation have sent a letter to Westchester District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino urging him to create an Office of Immigrant Affairs to better serve Latina/o/x’s and other immigrant residents in the lower Hudson Valley.

National Experts on Latinos & Criminal Justice Reform will Convene in Orlando

More than 30 scholars, reformers, activist, lawyers and policy analysts will gather in Orlando on April 18-19 to discuss issues around Latinos and the criminal justice system. The free, open-to-the-public convening will cover topics such as the death penalty, felon disenfranchisement, bail reform, drug policy, and ICE raids and detainers.

LatinoJustice Urges NYS Chief Judge to Stop ICE agents from Stalking Immigrants in Courthouses

Allowing immigration agents to stalk and arrest undocumented immigrants in courthouses undermines the judicial system and results in “separating children from parents, breaking up families who have lived together for decades,” and could cut off many immigrants from legal representation, according to a letter sent from LatinoJustice PRLDEF to New York State Chief Justice Hon. Janet DeFore.

Resources and Actions

  • Know Your Rights: Keep yourself informed about your rights and organizations involved in the fight for Immigrant Justice by checking out our Immigrant Justice Resource Page here.
  • Take Action: We are eager to support and ampilfy the actions from our networks. Check back here in the coming weeks for some actions that you can take to support Immigrant Justice

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