What We Do

Our legal team works in the areas of employment, immigration law, housing and benefits and TGNCIQ rights, helping to tackle crises like an impending eviction or an order of deportation. Thanks to the trust we build with community members, we are often able to avert crises before they spiral out of control and ensure that all members of a family get services they need to thrive over the long term.

Our attorneys take the knowledge gleaned from thousands of individual legal cases and use them to design enforceable and far-reaching policies, working side-by-side with community members and organizers to secure their adoption. We then monitor government agencies to ensure good implementation, providing real-time, on-the-ground feedback and, when necessary, public pressure.

Protecting Immigrant Families
How We're Helping

We address income crises by helping New Yorkers access tens of millions of dollars in benefits and unlawfully withheld wages. We assist with paid sick leave and unemployment insurance claims and fight workplace discrimination and wage theft by litigating in court and before administrative agencies. We also help clients apply for and maintain public benefits.

We provide high-quality immigration legal services, handling a very diverse range of immigration cases including affirmative cases like citizenship, asylum, and deportation defense. We run monthly Know Your Rights trainings to help families defend themselves against ramped up immigration enforcement and respond rapidly to real or rumored raids.  We take on potentially groundbreaking cases that will set precedents and help stop attacks on immigrants. We are routinely called on by government agencies and other legal service agencies to provide advice on complicated cases.

We work to prevent displacement of long-term residents by stopping unlawful evictions and protecting tenants’ rights to safe housing. We advocate for just city and state housing policies, helping to steer citywide affordable housing coalitions and working to ensure that newly created housing in our neighborhoods is affordable.

Our legal team supports transgender, gender non conforming, intersex and queer community members,  providing culturally competent representation for TGNCIQ immigrants and workers, helping with name changes, providing support to survivors of hate violence, and assisting survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence with case management and advocacy.

The amount we help save or put back in New Yorkers' pockets annually
Fast Facts
  • We represent MRNY member Martín Batalla Vidal and other DACA recipients in a groundbreaking national lawsuit against the Trump administration for their termination of the DACA program.
  • Together with allies, we pushed New York City to pass strong laws — which we helped design — to crack down on the scourges of lead, toxic mold and dangerous housing conditions.
  • We have elevated the crisis of police bias against our communities, filing a complaint with the Commission on Human Rights against the NYPD’s notorious 110th precinct for its practice of profiling.
  • We won system-wide, citywide, and statewide victories to ensure mandatory translation and interpretation services in all NY government agencies, hospitals, and pharmacies.
Meet Martín

Martín Batalla Vidal arrived from Mexico when he was seven. With our support, he applied for DACA, which enabled him to get a job, financially support his mother, and pay for college.

Just months after he received his work permit, immigration officials demanded it back because of a ruling by an anti-immigrant Texas judge. This outrage prompted Martín to step into the spotlight. He came together with MRNY, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School’s Worker and Immigrant Rights Advocacy Clinic, and five other DACAmented defendants to file a potentially groundbreaking lawsuit that could benefit millions of immigrants across the US.

Once shy, Martín now speaks at rallies with tens of thousands of people, writes op-eds for major national outlets, and supports other immigrants to speak up.

Support our fight for justice through impact litigation,
policy design, and community organizing.

Related Links

Legal Department - Fall 2018
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Policing & Criminal Justice
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Workplace Justice
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