Securing Equal Justice

Supporting Immigrants

The image of America as a nation of immigrants has never been more true to life. Forty-two million foreign-born people live in the United States; a new immigrant arrives every 28 seconds. Unlike previous generations, they’re moving beyond traditional gateway cities to make homes in large and small communities throughout the country, some of which were virtually untouched by immigration until recently.

With our partners in government, we’re working to ensure that justice, in the form of fundamental legal protections and services, is available to them. That involves building trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement agencies and overcoming language barriers, so that the motto “protect and serve” genuinely applies to everyone. We’re also working to understand and meet the needs of the growing number of vulnerable children who enter the United States alone, and giving people facing deportation—many who have lived here for years—a fair shot in immigration court.

Related Work

Building the Movement Summary

Advancing Universal Representation: A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers

The movement for universal representation—the idea that every immigrant facing detention and deportation should have the right to a publicly funded lawyer if they cannot afford one—continues to gain significant momentum. As a result of local and state campaigns, more than 40 jurisdictions across the country now fund deportation defense programs. Wi ...

Publication
January 14, 2021
Publication

Rising to the Moment: Advancing the National Movement for Universal Representation

Years 1-3 of the SAFE Initiative

In 2017, the Vera Institute of Justice launched the Safety and Fairness for Everyone Network—now known as the SAFE Initiative or “SAFE”—to counter the fundamental and urgent injustices facing immigrants caught up in the nation’s immigration enforcement system. With roots in Vera's work for the past 15 years building the government-funded removal de ...

Publication
December 15, 2020
Publication

Series: Target 2020

The Tipping Point for Universal Representation for Immigrants

In early October, ICE reported that, within a six-day span, it arrested 172 immigrants across six “sanctuary cities”: Baltimore, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, DC. These cities all have policies in place that are intended to foster trust between local law enforcement and immigrants in their jurisdictions, and yet parents, ...

Blog Post
  • Melissa Garlick
    Melissa Garlick
  • Annie Chen
    Annie Chen
October 29, 2020
Blog Post