National Immigration Law Center
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Our mission is to defend & advance the rights & opportunities of low-income immigrants and their family members.

Our Strategies


Policy Analysis & Advocacy

With a strong presence in Washington, D.C., NILC develops in-depth analyses of proposed legislative and regulatory changes that advocates and policymakers rely on for accurate insights about the impact that these changes will have on the immigrant population and society overall. We disseminate timely policy updates and alerts, convene workgroups of national advocacy organizations and community agencies, and coordinate strategic responses to policy changes as they arise.

Impact Litigation

Our litigation focuses on issues that have broad impact on the rights of low-income immigrants, including but not limited to due process, employment discrimination on the basis of immigration status and national origin, access to health care and other critical benefits, and immigration enforcement and detention. We regularly co-counsel impact litigation with other leading public interest firms, immigrants' and civil rights groups, and private law firms working pro bono. Over the years, NILC attorneys have won significant legal victories, including several nationwide injunctions that protect immigrants' access to the courts and their right to due process. NILC does not provide direct representation to individuals. 


NILC has invested a lot of resources and energy over the years in spearheading and facilitating various coalitions organized around important immigrants’ rights issues and concerns. Through this coalition-building work, we have helped widely-dispersed advocates working on similar immigrants’ right issues more regularly communicate with each other, share information and resources, and develop joint advocacy and organizing strategies. Our strong connections and working relationships with national, state, and local advocates across the country is one of our particular strengths. Additionally, through our work with groups across the country, we gain valuable knowledge from advocacy and organizing efforts that informs our federal policy work.

Technical Assistance

Technical Assistance: In an average month, NILC attorneys and analysts respond to over 500 requests for legal advice and analysis from legal services and public interest attorneys, health and social service providers, government officials, labor unions, and community organizers. We regularly review advocacy and community education materials of other groups for technical and legal accuracy, upon request as resources permit. NILC also serves as a principal source of information on immigrant issues for the media.

Trainings and Conferences

NILC staff conduct more than 80 trainings and conference presentations annually throughout the country. We help build the capacity of local advocates and attorneys about laws and policies affecting their immigrant members or clients, as well as bring the perspective of low income immigrants to national audiences at the annual conferences of other leading advocacy groups. Every two years, NILC organizes the highly regarded National Low-Income Immigrants' Rights Conference.


NILC publishes policy analyses, articles, and community education materials for nonprofit agencies, advocates and organizers, public interest lawyers, and others working on issues within our areas of expertise. We produce a free e-newsletter, the Immigrants’ Rights Update, which provides information about changes in policy, litigation, and other issues affecting low-income immigrants, as well information about NILC trainings and publications. We also administer five free email distribution lists that provide timely and accurate updates on the federal, state and local developments on specific issues: DREAM ACT-related developments, immigrants’ access to public benefits, immigrants’ access to health care, workers’ rights, and immigration enforcement.