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Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center is the only national legal advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. We envision a U.S. society in which all people -- regardless of their race, gender, immigration or economic status -- are treated equally, fairly, and humanely, have equal access to justice, education, government resources and economic opportunities, and are able to achieve their full potential as human beings. Policymakers, community organizers, legal advocates, and the media recognize National Immigration Law Center staff as experts on a wide range of issues that affect the lives of immigrants in the U.S., and frequently call upon us to explain the real-life impact of immigration-related laws and policies
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. 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. 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. NILC has promoted and educated policymakers about the TRUST Act, a policy that would place important safeguards on the operation of the Secure Communitiesprogram in the state of California that might serve as a model for other states. NILC has 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. NILC has 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 has played a crucial role in providing legal and organizational capacity to poor communities organizing for justice"
Saket Soni, Executive Director, New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice
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