The United States has long offered a promise of opportunity and safety to arriving immigrants. We work to ensure that our country safeguards that promise, and to ensure that immigrants are treated fairly, equally, and with dignity.
Immigrants, many of whom work in poultry plants or other extremely labor-intensive industries, are often denied basic protections in the workplace.
Their children, many of them U.S. citizens, are often denied school enrollment or the educational services required under the law.
In their communities, they’re subjected to surveillance, racial profiling and harassment by law enforcement officers who assume they are undocumented solely because of how they look and the language they speak.
Politicians and media figures have only encouraged this environment by spreading false propaganda that blames immigrants for our nation’s problems and by enacting discriminatory laws that stigmatize them.
Immigrants are increasingly forced to live in fear of the deportation dragnet. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers have illegally and unfairly apprehended immigrants with disregard for their rights. Local, state and federal politicians have enacted, or attempted to enact, policies that would result in widespread violations of immigrants’ rights. These policies prevent immigrants from seeking the help of law enforcement when they are victims of crimes and labor exploitation, cause them to fear routine activities such as enrolling children in school or driving a car, and force them to work and live in the opaque fringes of our nation’s economy.
Once placed in deportation proceedings, hundreds of thousands of immigrants have been locked away in unsafe and inhumane detention centers far away from their loved ones — without access to attorneys. We’re working to transform the deportation process, from lawless assembly-line injustice to a fair consideration of each person’s case on the merits, through our Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative. Our on-the-ground teams train and support pro bono attorneys to represent detainees in four immigrant detention centers in the Deep South.
Our work on the ground in the immigration courts and detention centers are revealing systemic abuses, and we file impact litigation against those abuses. We’re fighting against federal and local law enforcement abuse of immigrants and those perceived to be immigrants.
Throughout the Deep South, our Immigrant Justice Project takes on cases that few private lawyers will accept, seeking systemic reforms and representing victims of injustice.