November 25, 2019
Dear Friend of IDP,
Another year of divisive and hateful policies have left little time for reflection for those fighting for immigrant rights and migrant justice. But as we look back on a year filled with crisis after crisis, the unwavering solidarity of supporters, like you, has provided critical support to fight back. With you at our side, the Immigrant Defense Project has had the fuel to resist the administration’s racist, xenophobic policies at every turn.
Now more than ever, we must grow the movement of people pushing back on the evils of the Trump Administration, and at IDP, we have been working hard to leverage our expertise to support resistance in critical and creative ways. A heartfelt thanks to you, for being a part of IDP’s successes to date, and for continuing to stand with us in the future. Here are a few highlights from 2019:
IDP Advocacy Efforts Prompt Action from New York State Governor, Attorney General & Office of Court Administration— IDP continued to grow our advocacy efforts significantly. In April, IDP’s One Day to Protect New Yorker’s bill—reducing the maximum sentence of a misdemeanor to 364 days, and thereby protecting thousands of New Yorkers from deportation—became law as part of the NYS budget. Also, IDP’s ICE Out of Courts campaign efforts resulted in the Office of Court Administration (OCA) issuing rules regulating ICE activity in New York State courthouses in April and a lawsuit filed by the Attorney General James in October. We are energized for the coming legislative session to push for the passage of the Protect Our Courts Act.
- Victory after 10-Year Litigation Campaign Expands Eligibility for Relief—With the support of the Stanford Immigrant Rights Clinic and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, IDP fought a ten-year litigation campaign to ensure that immigrants seeking relief from deportation (and other immigration benefits) are not barred if certain documents from prior criminal-legal system contacts are unavailable. In July, the 9th Circuit referenced IDP’s amicus brief in Marinelarena vs. Barr, and adopted our position, making many more noncitizens with convictions eligible for relief!
- IDP Responds to Ongoing Threat of ICE Raids—This past summer was marked by the heightened threat of large-scale policing operations and raids by ICE. IDP responded by scaling up our work in community defense: we shared updated ICE trends and tactics in our Know Your Rights materials, including our ICE raids toolkit and ICEwatch raids map, and continued to generate new materials, like shareable infographics on common deceitful ICE tactics for social media. Under the looming threat of ICE raids, our materials were shared widely, including by Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, and accessed over 30,000 times!
- IDP Challenges ICE in National Media—IDP continued to work to fight back against ICE policing and upend a key narrative that fuels the deportation machine—the demonization of people with criminal convictions. Our communications work this year focused primarily on challenging ICE tactics as well as narratives that surround ICE’s raids practice, gaining coverage in national media outlets, like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. We also continued to lead Comm/unity (formerly Commrades), a collective of national communicators dedicated to challenging the criminalization of immigrants.
These victories, in a large part, belong to us all. Thanks to your ongoing partnership and support, we’re able to continue to resist the hate-filled agenda of the current administration and fight on in the face of the ever-present threats to our community. Throughout IDP’s history, contributions from our supporters have been critical in allowing the needs of our communities to guide our work. Your support is the foundation that allows us to press on in this work while keeping an eye towards a brighter future.
Thank you, as always, for ensuring that IDP can remain steadfast in our mission to secure fairness and justice for all immigrants.
On behalf of Manny Vargas, Benita Jain, Marie Mark, Terry Lawson, Genia Blaser, Joseph Celestin, Jose Chapa, Karelle Fonteneau, Ryan Muennich, Jon Rodney, Jane Shim, Nabilah Siddiquee, Patrick Baker, and Brittany Castle.
P.S. In the next few months we will update you further on the specifics of our plans for the next year. For updates on our work until then, follow us on Twitter and Facebook. For now, please consider becoming one of IDP’s monthly sustainers, if you haven’t already, and reaching out to us for any more information.
Please note that donations to IDP are processed through our fiscal sponsor, the Fund for the City of New York (FCNY, a charitable organization. All donations are eligible for charitable donations under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. No goods and/or services were provided by the FCNY in exchange for this donation.