Borealis Philanthropy announced today the re-launch of the Immigration Litigation Fund (ILF), a national donor 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 or exclusion.

The ILF supports impact litigation as a tool for achieving public policy and social change on immigration issues. In 2019, the Fund will prioritize investment in impact litigation that challenges discriminatory, unlawful, and overly punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices, as well as efforts to exclude certain immigrants from entering the country.

“Impact litigation is a critical strategy to hold the government accountable and shine a light on injustices within the immigration enforcement system that the public would not otherwise know about,” said Ivy Suriyopas, Program Officer at the Open Society Foundations. “The lawsuits, advocacy, and legal services supported by this fund protect the integrity of our courts, the rule of law, and each person’s fair day in court.”

The Fund’s grantmaking prioritizes impact litigation efforts that are connected to and coordinated with immigrant communities and organizations. The Fund also prioritizes investment in regions with limited legal capacity, and addressing issues facing under-represented communities. Read more about eligibility for funding in our frequently asked questions.

Since 2017, the ILF has awarded $6.6 million to 112 grantees, supporting 65 lawsuits. ILF grantees have brought litigation related to issues such as DACA and the Muslim Ban, as well as to stop deportations and workplace raids, prevent abusive practices in detention facilities, and preserve access to counsel.

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

How To Apply to the Immigration Litigation Fund: 

In 2019, the ILF will have two deadlines for funding applications: September 1 and November 1. Organizations submitting proposals between July 15 and September 1 will be notified about funding decisions by September 15 and approved projects will receive grant awards by October 1.

Proposals submitted between September 2nd and November 1st will be considered in the second round of funding. Applicants in this round will be notified about funding decisions by November 15th and approved projects will receive their grant awards by December 1st.

Please carefully review the updated ILF funding priorities and FAQs before submitting an application as there have been some changes to the ILF’s grantmaking process.

Please also reach out to Borealis staff at to discuss your project before submitting your application. For more information about the ILF, please visit the Fund’s page on the Borealis website.