ABOUT THE IMMIGRANT AND REFUGEE RIGHTS PROJECT

The North Carolina Justice Center believes everyone deserves fair treatment, regardless of race, ethnicity, or country of origin. Unfortunately, immigrants are often excluded from other programs that offer legal services to low-income people. And because they may lack access to legal protections, immigrants are more likely to become victims of abuse by unscrupulous businesses and employers. Such violations undermine the well-being of everyone in the state.

 

OUR GOALS

  • Ensure that low-income immigrants have the legal representation necessary to navigate the complex and onerous immigration system.
  • Protect immigrants and their families from abuses in the public and private sectors.
  • Advance public policies that improve the well-being of immigrant families and provide them with opportunities for economic security.
  • Promote acceptance and understanding of immigrants and immigrant communities in North Carolina.

 

LEGAL WORK

Immigration Law: Every year, we provide free legal advice and representation to hundreds of low-income immigrants. We help families gain the legal status they need to be able to live and work in North Carolina. Learn more about the cases we take and the effect we have on families’ lives.

Employment Law: We provide legal representation to immigrant workers whose employers did not pay them the promised wage, discriminated against them on the job, or committed other violations of employment law.

Public Benefits: We provide assistance to immigrants who have been inappropriately denied services by various public agencies, such as the Division of Motor Vehicles, offices of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the court system. We can also help parents who encounter obstacles when enrolling their children in school.

Consumer Protections and Housing: We represent immigrants who are victims of fraud, and we work to stop businesses from engaging in predatory and illegal practices. We take cases in which the victims were targeted specifically because they are immigrants or have limited English skills. We also litigate cases involving landlord abuses of tenants who are immigrants.

 

LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Sadly, immigrants are often the target of punitive and discriminatory legislation that, if passed, would undermine safety and opportunity for everyone in North Carolina. With our partners and allies, we work to stop bills that would rob immigrants for their rights, increase racial profiling and other abuses, or restrict access to public services.

We also provide support to immigrant organizations throughout North Carolina. We lead a statewide workgroup of advocates and community leaders that coordinates education, advocacy, and strategic action. We plan and facilitate workshops on issues such as anti-immigrant legislation, immigrant worker layoffs, workers’ rights, housing and consumer law, public benefits, the unjust federal immigration system, and strategies for community organizing. Contact us if you are interested in hosting a workshop.