IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE RIGHTS

BASIC OVERVIEW


FIND IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE ORGANIZATIONS (BY STATE)

 

VIEW IMMIGRATION POLICIES ENACTED IN 2016 (BY STATE)

It is even more important now that we must be active, vocal, and aware of the policies being implemented in our communities and states. Find local organizations that are lobbying your legislators in support of immigrant and refugee rights and become their allies.

Contact your local and state representatives.
Ask them if there are any bills, resolutions, or local memorandums on immigration currently under consideration. Ask them for their position. Find out if there has been an independent impact study done, and ask to see the results. Become familiar with what legislation your state has been introducing, plans to reintroduce, and speak to your representatives about it. Track bills.

 

REPORT A HATE CRIME

 

 

SUPPORT A PRO-IMMIGRATION ORGANIZATION

There are also a number of anti-immigration organizations which exist, but we are choosing not to link to them at this time. You can, however, read the Immigration Handbook for the New Republican Majority, written in January 2015 by Jeff Sessions, Trump’s selection for Attorney General. This appointment is highly controversial.

ORGANIZATION DESCRIPTION
ACLU – Immigration Issues
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When the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one vulnerable group, everyone’s rights are at risk. The ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project is dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of immigrants and to combating public and private discrimination against them.
The Advocates for Human Rights (Minnesota)
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At the forefront of the world’s human rights movement, The Advocates for Human Rights, a 501(c)(3) organization, creates and maintains lasting, comprehensive, and holistic change on a local, national, and global scale. Volunteers, partners, supporters, board members, and staff implement international human rights standards to promote civil society and reinforce the rule of law.
American Immigration Council
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The American Immigration Council (“Council”), established in 1987, works to strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history and shaping how America thinks about and acts towards immigrants and immigration. The Council promotes the prosperity and cultural richness of our diverse nation by standing up for sensible and humane immigration policies that reflect fundamental American values; The Council insists that our immigration laws be enacted and implemented in a way that honors fundamental rights; The Council works to achieve justice and fairness for immigrants under the law; and The Council strives to educate policy makers and the general public about the enduring contributions of America’s immigrants. The Council employs a diverse set of strategies, including policy advocacy, litigation, research, communications, and education.
American Immigration Lawyers Association The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is the national association of more than 14,000 attorneys and law professors who practice and teach immigration law. AILA member attorneys represent U.S. families seeking permanent residence for close family members, as well as U.S. businesses seeking talent from the global marketplace. AILA members also represent foreign students, entertainers, athletes, and asylum seekers, often on a pro bono basis. Founded in 1946, AILA is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that provides continuing legal education, information, professional services, and expertise through its 39 chapters and over 50 national committees.
America’s Voice
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The mission of America’s Voice (AV) and America’s Voice Education Fund (AVEF) is to harness the power of American voices and American values to enact policy change that guarantees full labor, civil and political rights for immigrants and their families. We work in partnership with progressive, faith-based, labor, civil rights, and grassroots groups, networks, and leaders to policies and legislation that will stabilize the lives of 11 million Americans-in-waiting and put them on the road to full citizenship.
ASISTA
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They aim to centralize assistance for advocates and attorneys facing complex legal problems in advocating for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Border Angels
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Border Angels is an all volunteer, non profit organisation that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border.
Catholic Legal Immigration Network
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Embracing the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger, CLINIC promotes the dignity and protects the rights of immigrants in partnership with a dedicated network of Catholic and community legal immigration programs.
Centro Presente
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Established in 1981, Centro Presente is a member-driven, state-wide Latin American immigrant organization dedicated to the self-determination and self-sufficiency of the Latin American immigrant community of Massachusetts.
Detention Watch Network
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VIEW REPORTS
Detention Watch Network (DWN) is a national coalition of organizations and individuals working to expose and challenge the injustices of the United States’ immigration detention and deportation system and advocate for profound change that promotes the rights and dignity of all persons.
Families for Freedom
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Founded in September 2002, Families for Freedom is a New York-based multi-ethnic human rights organization by and for families facing and fighting deportation.
Fair Work Center
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The Fair Work Center empowers workers to achieve fair employment. They are a hub for workers to understand and exercise their legal rights, improve working conditions and connect with community resources.
Free Immigration Reform Movement The Fair Immigration Reform Movement is a national coalition of grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level. They are led by a group of 44 organizations from across 32 states around the country committed to immigrant rights.
Imagine 2050
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Imagine 2050 was launched in 2008 by the staff of Center for New Community. Since then, its contributors have included activists, immigrants, artists and students who are invested in a future nation that embodies a multiracial democracy. Imagine 2050 is committed to igniting candid conversations around race, immigration, environment, and American identity.
Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization
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IRCO’s mission is to promote the integration of refugees, immigrants and the community at large into a self-sufficient, healthy and inclusive multi-ethnic society.
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
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The mission of the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is to work with and educate immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector to continue to build a democratic society that values diversity and the rights of all people.
Immigration Advocates Network
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The Immigration Advocates Network (IAN) is a collaborative effort of leading immigrants’ rights organizations designed to increase access to justice for low-income immigrants and strengthen the capacity of organizations serving them. IAN promotes more effective and efficient communication, collaboration, and services among immigration advocates and organizations by providing free, easily accessible and comprehensive online resources and tools.
Immigration Equality
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Since 1994, Immigration Equality has been proud to advocate for and represent lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants seeking safety, fair treatment, and freedom. As the only LGBTQ organization with a staff of immigration attorneys, Immigration Equality impacts both the individuals we serve and the immigration system as a whole.
International Rescue Committee The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.
KIND (Kids in Need of Defense)
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KIND staff and pro bono attorney partners at law firms, corporations, and law schools nationwide represent unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children in their deportation proceedings. Together, they ensure that no child stands in court alone.
Lacey & Larkin Frontera Fund Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin, co-founders of Phoenix New Times and Village Voice Media, have dedicated the settlement money arising out of their arrest by Sheriff Joe Arpaio to fund migrant rights organizations throughout Arizona.
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
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All migrants and refugees are protected, embraced and empowered in a world of just and welcoming communities. Witnessing to God’s love for all people, the organization stands with and advocates for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice.
Nation of Immigrators Attorney Angelo A. Paparelli blogs on America’s dysfunctional immigration system and tries to offer constructive solutions that will enable the U.S. to maintain and enhance its economic prosperity, political freedoms and cultural and religious heritage as a Nation of Immigrants.
New York Immigration Coalition
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The New York Immigration Coalition aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all. The NYIC promotes immigrants’ full civic participation, fosters their leadership, and provides a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (Washington)
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NWIRP’s legal services are critical to helping thousands of immigrants in Washington State navigate the complexities of the United States immigration system so they can apply for asylum or other forms of immigration protection. Without appropriate legal assistance, the men, women and children served by NWIRP may be less likely to obtain legal immigration status, and more likely to be returned to a country where they face ill treatment, torture, or even death.
MALDEF
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Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access.
MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition)
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The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.
Nation of Immigrators Attorney Angelo A. Paparelli blogs on America’s dysfunctional immigration system and tries to offer constructive solutions that will enable the U.S. to maintain and enhance its economic prosperity, political freedoms and cultural and religious heritage as a Nation of Immigrants.
National Council of La Raza
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Every day Latinos work to make America stronger. They energize the economy and strive to make better lives for themselves, their families, and their communities. Our mission is to improve their opportunities for success in achieving the American Dream.
National Immigrant Justice Center
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Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) is dedicated to ensuring human rights protections and access to justice for all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. With offices in Chicago, Indiana, and Washington, D.C., NIJC provides direct legal services to and advocates for these populations through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education. Since its founding three decades ago, NIJC has been unique in blending individual client advocacy with broad-based systemic change.
National Immigration Forum
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The National Immigration Forum is one of the leading immigrant advocacy organizations in the country, with a mission to advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.
National Immigration Law Center
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Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants.
National Immigration Project
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Marking 45 years in 2016, the National Immigration Project has persistently promoted justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and social policies related to immigration. We provide technical assistance and support to legal practitioners, immigrant communities, community-based organizations, and all advocates seeking to advance the rights of noncitizens.
New American Pathways (Georgia)
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Founded in 1977 as part the Christian Council of Metropolitan Atlanta and incorporated as a 501(c)(3) in 2002, RRISA’s direct service programs (resettlement, employment, education and youth, and immigration) focused heavily on the immediate needs of refugees during their first 180 days in the United States.
MIRA (Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition)
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The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees.
OneAmerica
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OneAmerica advances the fundamental principles of democracy and justice at the local, state and national levels by building power within immigrant communities in collaboration with key allies.
ReWA
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ReWA is a non-profit, multi-ethnic organization that promotes inclusion, independence, personal leadership, and strong communities by providing refugee and immigrant women and their families with culturally and linguistically appropriate services. ReWA advocates for social justice, public policy changes, and equal access to services while respecting cultural values and the right to self-determination.
Safe Passage Project (New York)
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afe Passage Project, a registered 501c3 not-for-profit, was created to address the unmet legal needs of indigent immigrant youth living in New York by providing these indigent youth with basic advice and assistance. We work with volunteer attorneys to provide representation for unaccompanied minors in immigration court. Safe Passage provides training, resources, and mentoring to volunteer attorneys regarding Special Immigrant Juvenile (“SIJ”) status as well as other possible immigration alternatives for children.
Southeast Immigrant Rights Network
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SEIRN’s mission is to lift up the voice and the leadership of immigrant communities of the Southeast at the regional and national levels. They promote collaboration and exchange between our members, as well as political education and collective action to build just and inclusive communities.
Southern Poverty Law Center
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The SPLC is dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society. Using litigation, education, and other forms of advocacy, the SPLC works toward the day when the ideals of equal justice and equal opportunity will be a reality.
Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) (Tennessee)
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The Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC) is a statewide, immigrant and refugee-led collaboration whose mission is to empower immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice, defend their rights, and create an atmosphere in which they are recognized as positive contributors to the state.
Urban Justice Project Since 1981, the Urban Justice Center has served New York City’s most vulnerable residents through a combination of direct legal service, systemic advocacy, community education and political organizing.
Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights
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The mission of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is to promote the best interests of unaccompanied immigrant children with due regard to the child’s expressed wishes, according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and state and federal law.

FEDERAL POLICIES LIKELY TO BE IMMEDIATELY AFFECTED

DACA
DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a program that has benefitted more than 844,000 individuals since it was enacted 4 years ago. It offers children who were brought here by their parents at a young age a two year renewable reprieve from the threat of deportation and a chance to work legally via an Employment Authorization Card. The application is thoroughly vetted by the Department of Homeland Security, and studies haveshown that DACA is significantly improving the lives of recipients.

ACLU recommends that if you have not applied for DACA, DO NOT APPLY, and keep your information out of this registry. If you have already applied, your info is already registered & you may consider re-applying.

 

DAPA
DAPA, or Deferred Action for Unauthorized Immigrant Parents, is a program that protects as many as 3.6 million from deportation and provides eligibility for work authorization.

 

IMMIGRATION COURTS
The case backlog in immigration courts across the country is likely to skyrocket during the president-elect’s presidency. This will increase the number of individuals who are not able to access programs and benefits that they may be qualified for, and will likely increase the number of individuals without protection under the law.


LOBBYING AND ADVOCACY FOCUSES

Sanctuary Cities

Many large cities in the U.S. have affirmed their classification as sanctuary cities after the Presidential election. Contact your local city and state representatives and vocalize your support for the protection of immigrants, refugees, and undocumented adults and children from the federal government.

Family Based Detention Centers

It is likely that we will see an increase in the number of detention centers, both inside and outside of the U.S. The inhumane conditions in these facilities is well-documented:

State IDs

Research your state’s current laws regarding obtaining state IDs or driver’s licenses, regardless of citizenship status. If your state is restrictive in this regard, contact your state legislators and encourage them to introduce legislation.

 

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