Advancing Justice for immigrants.
At the forefront of the fight for immigrant justice is the National Immigration Law Center.
For nearly 40 years, our work has been driven by one unconditional principle: the belief that all of us, regardless of where we were born, deserve equal opportunity to thrive.
In an age of unrelenting attacks on the humanity of immigrants and refugees, this principle has not changed. Laser-focused on advancing justice and making sure immigrants have access to opportunities and resources they need to thrive, we find allies in key places, and leverage our wins to ensure they impact the most people possible. Last year, cruel attacks on immigrants brought new challenges. With allies, we rose to meet them. We helped spearhead the fight for No Muslim Ban Ever, pushed in the courts and with Congress to defend Dreamers, and co-led a coalition to preserve immigrants’ access to basic necessities. The fight isn’t over. But we know history and justice are on our side.
Fighting discrimination & Islamophobia
Just seven days into his term, President Trump signed an executive order banning virtually all travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, fulfilling his campaign promise of imposing a “ban” on Muslims.
The chaos that followed was as tragic as it was predictable. The NILC legal team was among the first to rush into action, by working with partners to secure the nationwide injunction to stop the Muslim ban from hurting families. Our clients for that case, Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi, both had permission to come to the U.S., but under the new ban, that didn’t matter. Both men were detained at JFK International Airport and told they would be immediately deported to a place they had fled because they feared being persecuted there.
Through swift legal action, NILC — together with a broad coalition of lawyers, organizers, and activists — was able to preserve their safety and stop the ban from hurting others detained at airports across the country. Hameed’s and Haider’s case was a first step into a broad multifaceted #NoMuslimBanEver campaign by NILC and allies. This campaign, led by Muslim, Arab, and South Asian organizations and supported by NILC, seeks to fight back against the Islamophobia that drives these horrific policies as well as fight for a future in which all of us, regardless of where we’re from or how we pray, have the freedom to be with our families in the U.S.
Defending DACA and Dreamers
Immigrant Youth are Here to Stay!
The Trump administration callously ended DACA in September 2017, throwing the lives of nearly 800,000 young immigrants and their families into turmoil. NILC worked with key allies to deploy multiple strategies to prevent the unlawful termination of DACA from hurting people and to promote a permanent legislative solution for immigrant youth who are Americans in every sense of the word. We also worked to protect the rights of Dreamers who were targeted for speaking out. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detained our client Daniela Vargas shortly after she spoke critically at a rally about ICE enforcement practices. With allies, we were able to secure her freedom after she spent several weeks in detention. This multi-pronged strategy will become even more necessary for the fights ahead.
Challenging attacks on immigrant families
Fighting for safe
and healthy communities
No mom should be forced to choose between accessing critical government services her kids need to stay healthy and thrive, on the one hand, and remaining with her family and community, on the other. Sadly, that’s exactly the dilemma President Trump wants to create for immigrants, which we learned through memos leaked from his administration beginning early last year. The Trump Administration wants to circumvent Congress to change federal rules governing who can get a green card or be admitted to the U.S., turning the path to U.S. citizenship into a toll road only the richest can access. NILC attorneys and advocates have been working hard to stop their efforts since media reports last year began outlining these plans. Together with the Center for Law and Social Policy, we’ve helped gather a coalition of more than 250 organizations to push back against this unprecedented attack on immigrant families striving to succeed.
Securing the Right to Marry
Love wins in Louisiana
Although marriage equality efforts for LGBTQ citizens have succeeded in many ways, in 2016 state legislators in Louisiana tried to block many immigrants’ basic right to marry— a clear violation of the Constitution. Our client Victor Vo and his fiancée bravely fought for their right to marry — and won. Victor, a U.S. citizen who was born in a refugee camp, didn’t have the birth certificate the state required him to have when he sought a marriage license. Although he could have gotten married, instead, in neighboring Mississippi or Arkansas, he fought for — and secured — this right for himself and for all immigrants. Love won in Louisiana, thanks to Victor and our co-counsel.
Our Community, Our Hope
NILC’s contributions to the immigrant justice movement wouldn’t be possible without our network of allies and supporters. This fight does not continue without them, without you.
In 2017, we were humbled to meet 16,895 new donors...
...many of whom contributed $25 or less.
- 43% of donors contributed $25 or below
...and our overall base of supporters is broad.
- 63% Grants
- 32% Individuals
- 3% Corporations
- 1% Unions
- 1% Government Contracts
Investing Wisely Read our Financial Statements
It’s hard to say what will come next. We may face new challenges in the coming year, but our mission continues.
We’ll never stop leveraging our wins, proven strategies, influence, and alliances to advance the rights and opportunities of immigrants in every corner of the United States. Apart from continuing to respond to immediate threats, like the ones we’ve resisted thus far, we’re also working with allies in communities from coast to coast to shift the debate in our country and fuel the movement toward our long-term vision of a more just and equitable society. With your ongoing partnership, we will advance a future in which there is justice, dignity, and equal opportunity for all.
We’ll always be fighting for justice.