Immigrants' Rights

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AALDEF believes in immigration policy that adheres to basic human rights principles. This belief resonates throughout our work in this program area. AALDEF is an active voice on immigration policy and immigrant rights issues on a national level and is also among the few groups that provide both direct legal representation and community education to Asian immigrants and their families.

Immigration Policy
Since 1974, AALDEF has represented Asian immigrant families and workers of all backgrounds. We believe that U.S. immigration laws must close the ever-widening gap in substantive and procedural rights between immigrant Americans and U.S.-born Americans, respect the rights of all workers, and maintain family reunification as a core value. In 2006, AALDEF was involved in efforts calling for the reform of national immigration policy, but legislative efforts ultimately failed. Today, we urge members of Congress to adhere to human rights principles in guiding the current debate on comprehensive immigration reform.

Read AALDEF's blueprint for fair and humane immigration policies and our target revisions to the current Senate proposal.

Click here to read more about our recent cases and activities.

Free DACA Legal Clinics
On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced that it would grant "deferred action" status to young people who qualify as DREAM Act students. AALDEF is holding a series of legal clinics to provide free legal advice and representation to people who qualify under this directive. Read our FAQs on DACA..

RAISE: AALDEF's Undocumented Youth Group
AALDEF's undocumented youth group RAISE ("Revolutionizing Asian American Immigrant Stories on the East Coast") is the first Asian American undocumented youth group on the East Coast. RAISE works with AALDEF to create safe spaces for undocumented Asian American youth and to advocate for just and humane immigration policies. 

Click here to read more about RAISE.

Post 9-11 Civil Liberties

Following September 11, AALDEF met an overwhelming need for legal assistance and information among immigrant communities targeted by each wave of the Department of Homeland Security's National Security Entry-Exit Registration Program (or "Special Registration"). In the decade since, AALDEF has challenged the government's racial, ethnic and religious profiling of Muslims and other select groups of noncitizens in the name of national security. AALDEF has provided legal advice and representation to thousands of individuals affected by post 9-11 immigration policy and educated tens of thousands through major "Know Your Rights" campaigns. AALDEF also monitors and advocates against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies that entail racial and religious profiling. Most recently, AALDEF has monitored and advaocated against NYPD surveillance of American Muslims.

In 2013, AALDEF, together with the Muslim American Civil Liberties Coalition and Creating Law Enforcement Accountability & Responsibility (CLEAR), released a groundbreaking new report: Mapping Muslims: NYPD Spying and Its Impact on American Muslims. This was the first report documenting the devasting impacts of the New York Police Department's extensive surveillance program that targeted American Muslims throughout the Northeast. 

Click here to read more about our recent cases and activities.


Census Bureau releases new list of counties requiring Asian-language assistance under the Voting Rights Act


AALDEF exit poll reveals new data on Muslim voter discrimination and GOP crossover voting for Clinton


After the 2016 presidential election, the fight for DACA and immigrant rights will continue


American Muslim voters faced extra hurdles at poll sites in Michigan & NY in the 2016 elections


In AALDEF's Election Day exit poll of Asian American voters, Clinton favored over Trump by wide margin


Despite high turnout, Asian American voters faced barriers to voting on Election Day


AALDEF to poll 10,000 Asian American voters in 14 states on Election Day


AALDEF criticizes Fox News for racist Chinatown segment on "The O'Reilly Report"


Oct. 4: Joyce Xi talks about racial profiling & the wrongful prosecution of Chinese American scientists


Sept 29: AMPLIFY(HER) zine launch at Asian American Writers Workshop


Sept 6 rally: AALDEF Statement on NY Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan


Federal court blocks Texas law restricting language assistance to voters


Remembering Grace Hwang, 1956-2016


National Asian American groups applaud Supreme Court decision in Fisher II affirmative action case