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The National Immigrant Justice Center’s LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative is proud to work at the intersection of immigrant and LGBT Rights.  We rely on the support of pro bono attorneys to provide comprehensive immigration services to those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and those who are living with HIV. Our work is focused on the following areas:

  • LGBT Immigrant Detainees: LGBT immigrants in detention can find themselves in an untenable position. They are at heightened risk for physical and sexual abuse, and they are often terrified of returning to their home countries. To address this problem, we advocate locally and nationally for improvements to detention conditions. For example, we have pushed for strict limits on the use of solitary confinement and convinced the government that a detainee’s sexual orientation or gender identity should not be the basis for placing someone in solitary confinement.  We have raised complaints about the abuse facing LGBT detainees and urged the government to protect detained immigrants by implementing the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA).  Click here for more information on NIJC’s policy efforts on behalf of detained LGBT immigrants.
  • Appellate Litigation: NIJC represents LGBT immigrants appearing in the United States Courts of Appeals around the country.  In recent years we have litigated cases in four circuits and won remand (and ultimately relief) for almost all of our clients.  When choosing cases, we look for cases that involve systemic flaws in the immigration system, discriminatory adjudication of sexual-orientation based claims, and errors in the interpretation of refugee law.
  • Coalition Building: Through the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative, NIJC has become a leader in building alliances among LGBT and immigrant organizations.  We collaborate with local and national organizations to build awareness of immigrant rights issues in the LGBT community.  Our goal is to deepen alliances between the movements, so that immigrant-rights advocates and LGBT-rights advocates can stand together as a united front to improve protections and promote equality.

Photo Credit: Alexandra Strada, Mathilde Cannat

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