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2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Immigration Equality

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Ethnic & Immigrant Centers, Human Services, Immigration, Lesbian & Gay Rights, LGBTQ, Public Interest Law

Mission: Immigration Equality addresses the widespread discriminatory impact of immigration laws on the lives of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV through education, outreach, advocacy and direct legal services.

Programs: Immigration equality represents more lgbt asylum seekers than any other agency or firm in the united states. Since 2008, immigration equality has won asylum for 271 lgbt and hiv-positive people from 64 countries. In 2010, 106 individuals won asylum: 43% were from the caribbean, 24% from south & central america, 16% from eastern europe, 11% from africa, 5% from the middle east, 1% from asia. Immigration equality's legal team vets potential clients and matches them with pro bono attorneys at elite law firms. In 2010, nearly 40 firms donated more than $13 million in legal services - representing 70% of immigration equality's caseload under the legal staff's supervision. As a result, immigration equality effectively leverages one hundred-fold every foundation dollar invested in the organization.

immigration equality has played a substantive role in the department of homeland security/ immigration and customs enforcement-ngo enforcement working group. Immigration equality has been meeting regularly with staff from immigration and customs enforcement (ice) to provide feedback on detention reform efforts. When the working group submitted extensive comments for improving the performance based national detention standards, these included ensuring access to appropriate medical care for transgender and hiv-positive detainees and implementing staff training to minimize harassment of lgbt detainees. These recommendations were included because immigration equality was at the table.

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