Immigration Litigation Fund


The Immigration Litigation Fund (ILF) is a national funder collaborative whose goal is to ensure that the nation’s immigration enforcement system is fair, humane, and prioritizes the civil and human rights of those vulnerable to deportation. ILF believes that litigation is an essential tool in achieving public policy and social change on immigration issues. The Fund’s grantmaking prioritizes litigation efforts that are connected to, and coordinated with, immigrant communities and organizations.

The fund supports impact litigation efforts that challenge discriminatory, unlawful, and overly punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices at any stage of the enforcement trajectory from identification and apprehension, to detention and removal, as well as efforts to exclude certain immigrants from entering the country.

The ILF is a collaborative effort of the Ford Foundation, JPB Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Open Society Foundations, Reis Foundation, and Anonymous Donors.


ILF’s funding will prioritize impact litigation projects focused on challenging immigration enforcement issues.   The ILF will consider litigation projects that challenge immigration enforcement issues that include but are not limited to

  • COVID-19’s impact on immigration enforcement;
  • Customs and Border Protection accountability; 
  • FOIA litigation; 
  • Exclusions to entry based on religion, region, or other factors;
  • Efforts that limit or restrict refugee admissions; 
  • Efforts to expand the use of expedited removal; 
  • Immigration detention including conditions of confinement; 
  • ICE raids in workplaces or other locations;
  • Local and state law enforcement cooperation with ICE or Border Patrol;
  • Use of state and local government databases to identify deportable immigrants; 
  • Prosecution for “illegal” entry or re-entry;
  • Access to counsel; 
  • Withholding of state or federal funding to cities, campuses, or other locations that fail to cooperate with deportation efforts; 
  • Limits on asylum or other programs that provide protection from persecution, violence, torture, or disasters including but not limited to Withholding of Removal, CAT, and TPS; and
  • Challenges to criminal convictions as grounds for deportation or removal.

The ILF is currently providing support for funding needs related to: 

  • Impact litigation focused on immigration enforcement issues; 
  • Convenings meant to advance coordination and strategy on an issue related to impact litigation efforts; 
  • Organizing and communications efforts that are related to impact litigation efforts.

Both public interest legal groups and community-based organizations are encouraged to apply if they are engaged in current or proposed litigation efforts. 

Historically the ILF has provided time-limited project support to impact litigation specific projects.  Due to the current economic and health crisis related to COVID-19, ILF grants awarded will be general operating grants rather than project grants.  Borealis asks that applicants to the ILF continue to request support for specific impact litigation projects focused on immigration enforcement issues but will provide grant dollars in the form of general operating support to allow organizations maximum flexibility to respond to changing and unforeseen needs and circumstances, that arise during the grant period.

For more information about ILF funding and how to apply, please see the ILF’s FAQ.

Please read the ILF funding priorities and FAQ pages, to learn more about the issues and work the fund has supported in the past. 

Please also read the Fund’s grantmaking announcement in December 2019 to learn more about the organizations recently funded by the ILF. For a full list of organizations funded by the ILF, please click here.


Please read the ILF’s FAQ page for more information about how to apply to the fund.


If you are a foundation or a donor interested in learning about how you can make a contribution to the ILF or become a partner in the fund, please fill out this contact form and our team will get back to you