The Immigrant Justice program at SRLP works with low income people and people of color who are transgender, gender nonconforming and/or intersex and either seeking legally-recognized immigration status, adjusting to a different immigration status or in danger of losing their immigration status and facing deportation. Immigrant justice has been identified as a key priority area in our work over the years because transgender immigrants are often excluded from different paths to obtaining status and are especially vulnerable to the dual policing of the criminal justice and immigration enforcement systems. Often the only avenues for status for transgender people are through asylum, T-visas (trafficking visas) or U-visas (visas for people who are victims of violent crime). Additionally, many immigration attorneys are not transgender affirming to transgender clients and do not understand the unique experiences of transgender immigrants. The Immigrant Justice Projects works in coalition on policy strategies to combat xenophobic laws and conditions that criminalize transgender immigrants including fighting against the implementation of secure communities and working to decrease the number of transgender individuals held in detention.
Outcomes of the work include:
- Increased representation of transgender immigrants in removal proceedings
- Transgender immigrants with legal status will obtain gender-affirming immigration documents including Green Cards, EADs and naturalization certificates.
- Partnerships with allied organizations to fight against the implementation of Secure Communities and other laws that authorize local law enforcement to enforce federal immigration law.
- Advocacy for the application of PREA standards to ICE detention facilities and
for the release of transgender individuals from detention.
- Transgender individuals held in detention will be provided access to trans-affirming healthcare, clothing and housing placements.
- Build intersectional analysis of students and allies through speaking engagements at conferences, law schools and community spaces.
- Walking While Trans – Effects of the Loitering Law on Trans-Feminine Immigrants (10/7/2016) - On September 30, 2016, the Legal Aid Society of New York and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP filed a civil rights class action lawsuit on behalf of women of color unjustly arrested for violations of New York Penal Law Section 240.37, the alleged crime of loitering for the purpose of prostitution. As a collective […]