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.


Remembering AALDEF board member Vivian Cheng-Khanna,1955-2017


2017 AALDEF exit poll: 2,538 Asian American voters polled in 4 states: VA, NJ, NY, MA


Nov. 15-16: AALDEF calls on Asian Americans to mobilize in DC for a clean DREAM Act


AALDEF to conduct exit poll & monitor poll sites in NJ, VA, NYC, & Boston on Election Day


Feb. 15, 2018: AALDEF lunar new year gala honoring Preet Bharara, Linda Greenhouse, and Chan Lee


Oct. 24: AALDEF "M. Butterfly" theater party and talkback with playwright David Henry Hwang


Oct. 1: DACA renewal clinic at Flushing Library


AALDEF denounces ending of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; new DACA fact sheet


Federal appeals court upholds ruling in AALDEF case that Texas election law violates Voting Rights Act


AALDEF denounces introduction of RAISE Act to restrict legal imigration


AALDEF exit poll presentations in Miami, Las Vegas, Atlanta & San Diego


AALDEF statement on the president's voter fraud commission


Screening of new PBS film "Chinese Exclusion Act" and Q&A with Ric Burns and Li-shin Yu on May 23


New AALDEF report: The Asian American Vote in 2016


AALDEF joins amicus brief in State of Hawaii's challenge to revised Trump travel ban


AALDEF condemns Trump Administration's revamped anti-immigrant travel ban


AALDEF joins Korematsu Center amicus brief in challenge to Trump travel ban in Brooklyn federal court