NIPNLG stands at the forefront of the fight to defend the civil and constitutional rights of immigrants in the U.S. We seek to promote justice and equality of treatment in all areas of immigration law, the criminal justice system, and in public policies related to immigration.
For 47 years, NIPNLG has served as a progressive source of advocacy-oriented legal support on issues critical to immigrant rights, including noncitizen victims of government abuse and misconduct, immigrants entangled within the criminal justice system, and immigrants facing summary removal, which deprives them of both the right to appear before a judge and the right to apply for status in the U.S. NIPNLG develops cutting-edge legal strategies to respond to government overreach, and efforts to erode immigrant rights. NIPNLG defends immigrant rights, so that all people in the U.S., regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, or immigrant status, are lawfully protected.
NIPNLG works both independently and collaboratively with immigrant advocacy organizations nationwide. Throughout its history, our goals have remained consistent: to combat discrimination and bias against noncitizens; to promote governmental accountability; to expand the rights of noncitizens; to increase the capacity of immigrant organizations to defend their rights; and to promote fairness, dignity, and equality for all, under the law. Our multi-pronged approach includes litigation, training of immigration law practitioners (and providing them with expert technical assistance), strategic advocacy, and legal support to immigrant organizations in directly impacted communities on the ground. By working on multiple fronts, from the courtrooms to the grassroots communities on the ground, NIPNLG has earned a reputation as a highly principled ally, an honest broker that keeps immigrants at the center; while leveraging its prodigious legal savvy to push forward a pro-immigrant agenda.
NIPNLG has been at the forefront of the national effort to educate and train criminal defense lawyers about the intersection of criminal and immigration law, or “crim-imm,” in order to best serve their noncitizen clients. A pioneer of crim-imm, NIPNLG has trained over 5,000 immigration and criminal defense attorneys on deportation defense, raids responses, and the immigration consequences of criminal convictions since 2011. We have provided over 6,000 instances of technical assistance on immigration enforcement and detention in this same period. By assisting legal counsel, our effect is multiplied, since each legal representative counsels multiple clients. In this way, NIPNLG acts as a force multiplier – a small organization with a high level of technical immigration law expertise that packs a legal punch. Our staff includes 6 top-notch legal experts; our board is comprised of the country's leading immigration law practitioners; and we have thousands of member volunteers nationwide.
NIPNLG’s track record of successful impact litigation, providing expert legal counsel, supporting grassroots movement-building, and as an architect of forward-thinking law and policy makes this small non-profit a leader in the national landscape of immigrant rights. Indicators of success include: - Increased capacity of grassroots-led groups and campaigns to respond effectively to Trump tactics and to demand accountability from its immigration enforcement agencies; - Improved judicial interpretation of crim-imm grounds of removal affecting up to 5,000 noncitizens annually; - Increased coordination among community-based organizations, activists, and social movement lawyers to respond to Trump’s anti-immigrant agenda; - Increased quality and capacity of removal defense affecting up to 5,000 immigrants annually; - A reduction in unlawful immigration enforcement practices by the Dept. of Homeland Security; - Engaging in lawsuits to challenge unlawful immigration enforcement practices.
In the 1990s, NIPNLG led the fight in American Baptist Churches v. Thornburgh, which resulted in a victory for 500,000 Guatemalan and Salvadoran asylum seekers, challenging systemic ideological bias in asylum adjudications. In this same era, it also co-founded the National Network on Behalf of Battered Immigrant women; and helped write the immigration laws in the very first Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and its progeny. In the 2000s, NIPNLG won major legal victories for battered immigrant women and immigrant survivors of abuse, impacting tens if not hundreds of thousands of immigrant women. NIPNLG also contributed to the 2010 lifting of the U.S. ban on HIV+ individuals traveling of immigrating to the U.S. – another victory with countless beneficiaries. In Padilla v. Kentucky in 2010, NIPNLG contributed to the victory of an immigrant’s right to ‘effective assistance of counsel’ – all attorneys must, under the law, properly advise noncitizen clients of the immigration consequences.