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

Series: Covid-19

Communities Need State and Local Deportation Defense Programs Now More Than Ever

Presently, the vast majority of people in immigration detention—70 percent—have no legal representation. This is because people facing deportation do not have the right to a public defender if they cannot afford one. And without legal representation, they face slim chances of being released from custody and remaining in the United States. With near ...

Blog Post
  • Melissa Garlick
    Melissa Garlick
May 12, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Covid-19

Facebook Post Put High School Student in a Detention Facility Now Struck by Coronavirus

In February 2018, Hernandez, upset about a change in location for her special education program, wrote, “I’m coming tomorrow morning and I’m going to shoot all of ya bitches,” on East High School’s Facebook page. She was charged with making a terroristic threat. She pled guilty to third-degree falsely reporting an incident, a misdemeanor offense, a ...

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  • Erica Bryant
    Erica Bryant
April 28, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Covid-19

Unaccompanied Children Suffer as Hearings are Sped Up, Switched to Video During COVID-19 Crisis

Video teleconference (VTC) hearings allow unaccompanied children to participate in court proceedings without physically appearing in court. The children answer questions from a judge on a screen, who might be translated by an interpreter in a third location. Such hearings are commonplace in adult immigration proceedings, despite concerns about thei ...

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  • Erica Bryant
    Erica Bryant
April 14, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Target 2020

Responding to COVID-19: Focusing on People in the Criminal Justice and Immigration Systems

People who are incarcerated at the following facilities have already tested positive: the Rikers Island jail complex and the Metropolitan Detention Center in New York City; the Nassau County Correctional Center in East Meadow, New York; the Larimer County Community Corrections program in Fort Collins, Colorado; the Massachusetts Treatment Center in ...

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  • Logan Schmidt
    Logan Schmidt
March 23, 2020
Blog Post

Announcing New Grants for Community Groups Working Toward Universal Representation for Immigrants

Vera’s Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network last week announced an inaugural request for proposals for community-based organizations in SAFE jurisdictions to further elevate and increase capacity for such grassroots organizing and advocacy for universal representation programs. Immigrants remain under unprecedented attacks by our federal ...

Blog Post
  • Melissa Garlick
    Melissa Garlick
March 05, 2020
Blog Post