Immigrant Rights

The NYIC Immigrant Rights Policy team works to end state support for detention, deportation, and mass incarceration. We envision a country that ensures the basic human dignity and core constitutional and human rights of everyone, regardless of race or immigration status, especially in the immigration and criminal legal systems. 

We drive work at the municipal, state, and federal levels to 

  • Counter anti-immigrant policies,
  • Fight against out-of-control immigrant enforcement agencies, 
  • Strengthen immigrants’ fundamental civil rights,
  • Ensure access to counsel and expansions of status, and
  • End collusion between federal and local law enforcement.

Through its statewide work, the NYIC Immigrant Rights Policy team calls on New York State to do the following:

  • Ensure all immigrants facing deportation have the right to an attorney,
  • Cease over-policing and unconstitutional stops by law enforcement, and
  • Prohibit all state and local government employees from collaborating with federal immigration authorities to facilitate immigration-related arrests and detention.


  • Swept up in the Sweep: The Impact of Gang Allegations on Immigrant New Yorkers details the Trump administration’s using supposed-gang enforcement to carry out punitive immigration policies. Through an extensive field study, the report shows how Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with other federal agencies and law enforcement, uses arbitrary methods to profile immigrant youth of color to allege gang affiliation. The report was written in collaboration with the NYIC and the Immigrant and Non-Citizen Rights Clinic (INRC) at the CUNY School of Law.
  • Stuck with Suspicion: How Vague Gang Allegations Impact Relief and Bond for Immigrant New Yorkers offers guidance to immigration lawyers, schools, police, and elected officials to ensure due process for young immigrants. Recommendations include limiting the information that local agencies share with ICE and that schools share with school resource officers, as well as implementing laws and policies to ensure gang database information is adequately vetted and reviewed. The report was written in collaboration with the NYIC and the NYCLU. 
  • No Safe Harbor: The Landscape of Immigration Legal Services in New York (2020): This report, authored by the NYIC in partnership with Brooklyn Law School’s Safe Harbor Clinic and the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative (I-ARC), draws on detailed interviews and surveys to ascertain the core challenges facing legal service providers and immigrant New Yorkers seeking legal assistance.
  • Unprotected and Unheard: Nassau County Police Department Fails Immigrant Communities: After years of local and statewide language access and police reform efforts, the NYIC and LILAC partnered to conduct this testing project to evaluate the NCPD's current language access practices. Our findings indicate a significant failure rate in the NCPD's response to Spanish speakers who called the eight precincts and headquarters a total of 94 times. Our recent testing had a failure rate of 46.8% indicating a pattern of willful negligence and dereliction of duty.
  • A Blueprint for the Nation: Building Immigrant Power from California to New York: The NYIC and the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), long-time legislative, advocacy and organizing leaders in our respective states, produced this report to celebrate what our states have done and to chart a different way forward—one that centers the humanity and dignity of immigrants. This Blueprint serves as a call to action to ask states, allies and funders to work with us and our partners to invest in organizing, building power and leadership to ensure policy wins in every state across the country, not just California and New York.
  • Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative (I-ARC): I-ARC is a coalition of immigration legal advocates that works on increasing access to justice and access to counsel for all immigrant New Yorkers.
  • Access to Representation Act: On January 15, 2020, New York became the first state in the nation to introduce legislation that would guarantee all immigrants have access to a lawyer when facing deportation. The Access to Representation Act is an essential piece of legislation that would empower immigrants to protect themselves and their families from the Trump Administration’s deportation machine.
  • NYIC One-Pager on Legal Services: This document outlines state budget and policy priorities around access to legal services for immigrants in New York State.  
  • New York for All: The legislation prohibits New York’s state and local government agencies, including police and sheriffs, from colluding with ICE, disclosing sensitive information, and diverting personnel or other resources to further federal immigration enforcement. By passing the New York for All Act, we’ll be one step closer to cultivating safe and vibrant communities for all New Yorkers, regardless of status.
    • Two-Pager on New York for All: This document, authored by NYIC, NYCLU, and the Immigrant Defense Project, explains how the New York for All Act would help immigrant New Yorkers lead freer lives and take care of family, preserve state and local resources for our communities, and ensure New York dollars cannot be diverted to carry out ICE cruelty.
    • NYCLU Resource Page: This page on the New York for All Act includes a letter of organizational support, a slide deck, two-pagers, upcoming events, an advocate listserv, and a legislative tracker.