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 Successes


Through innovative policy and legal advocacy strategies, NILC has won landmark decisions protecting fundamental due process and civil rights, warded off policy changes that would have devastated the lives of marginalized members of our society, and advanced progressive policies that promote the well-being of all communities.  For example, we recently:

  • Spearheaded efforts to educate policymakers about the need to provide undocumented young people who have lived in the U.S. since childhood with the legal status they need to realize their life and educational goals.  Working closely with other allies, NILC helped ignite a united educational, organizing, and advocacy campaign that inspired policymakers to advance the DREAM Act farther that it has since it was first introduced nearly 10 years ago.   

  • Co-led national legal partners in the only class-action lawsuit challenging SB 1070, Arizona’s unconstitutional and dangerous “papers please” law that gives local police officials new powers to identify, prosecute and deport people they suspect are in the country without proper authorization.  NILC has played a leadership role on co-counseling cases brought this year challenging Arizona-inspired laws passed in Utah, Indiana, Georgia, Alabama, and South Carolina.

  • Challenged constitutional abuses that result from collaboration between Immigration and Custom Enforcement and local police agencies, and educated advocates across the country about the dangers of myriad enforcement programs.  For example, we have promoted and educated policymakers about the TRUST Act, a policy that would place important safeguards on the operation of the Secure Communities program in the state of California that might serve as a model for other states.

  • Played a key role in educating the Department of Labor on the importance of certifying U visas for victims of labor abuses, and on improving its Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Homeland Security to safeguard confidentiality in the course of labor investigations.  A revised MOU was issued in March 2010.

  • Helped ensure that lawfully present immigrant families are covered by the new federal health care law by offering practical policy recommendations to preserve immigrants’ access to care.  NILC's advocacy helped minimize barriers posed by expanded eligibility verification requirements, preserve confidentiality provisions, and limit narrow definitions of immigrant status that would jeopardize some individuals’ ability to qualify for care.