The Immigration Litigation Fund (ILF) has awarded $2 million in grants to 35 organizations defending the fundamental rights of immigrants. ILF grantmaking recognizes that litigation is an essential tool for ensuring that the nation’s immigration enforcement system is fair, humane, and prioritizes the civil and human rights of those vulnerable to deportation.
Over the last three years, immigrant communities and advocates have witnessed the introduction of cruel and draconian policies across the country, often given at the 11th hour and with little thought to their legality or implementation. We have also seen that litigation is often the only thing standing in the way of those policies being fully implemented. As we look ahead, the need for urgent litigation interventions is greater than ever.
“The explosion of litigation we’re seeing in the field is a direct response to the last three years of near-constant attacks on immigrant communities,” said Heidi Dorow, Director of Immigration Initiatives at Borealis Philanthropy. “Based on the current administration’s track record, we anticipate additional policies will be introduced to further undermine the fundamental rights of immigrants to seek safety and liberty in this country.”
This round of grantmaking comes at a time when the risk of coronavirus throughout the immigrant detention system is severe, and growing. According to Freedom for Immigrants, as of July 16, ICE confirmed 3,496 positive cases across 70 facilities. This represents an increase of 1,386 cases and nine new facilities from the previous month. Many ILF grantees are working to challenge immigration detention as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread.
ILF continues to support both national, high-profile cases and cases addressing the daily indignities and cruelties immigrants face. This grantmaking includes support for impact litigation projects that challenge the government’s efforts to: eliminate access to asylum, limit refugee resettlement, return survivors of violence to danger in their home countries, deport and detain unaccompanied children, and exclude immigrants based on religion or country of origin.
The 35 ILF grant recipients are: