About Immigration Equality
Immigration Equality is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1994. The group originated at the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Test Force with three passionate and talented LGBTQ+ attorneys who aimed to defend the rights of LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants and help them enter the United States. Immigrants already face a plethora of legal issues and unjust harm, but LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants face even more obstacles because of their identities. Immigration Equality officially opened its NYC headquarters in 1997 to provide direct legal services and pursue impact litigation on behalf of immigrants faced with undue obstacles and harm because of their identities.
Immigration Equality has played huge roles in paving the way for LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive immigrants. In 2000, Immigration Equality’s signature bill, the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, was introduced to Congress. The bill would permit green cards for U.S. citizens with same-sex immigrant partners. Another notable achievement of the organization was the 2006 report “Family, Unvalued” in which the team at Immigration Equality outlined and exposed “the harms of immigration discrimination against same-sex binational couples.” The organization has helped folks find asylum, reunite families, and open the way for opportunities. In 2017, Immigration Equality reached its 1,000th asylum and in 2018 won a land mark case against the State Department “affirming U.S. citizenship of two-year-old Ethan Dvash-Banks, who was denied citizenship because his parents are gay.” These successes and points of progress are just a few examples of the meaningful work done by the legal experts and passionate members of Immigration Equality.
Immigration Equality is primarily a litigation service, focusing on legal work at individual levels to impact litigation. The staff attorneys often work pro bono and engage in important legal cases on behalf of their clients as well as help in the research and composition for larger cases or important statements and briefs. Volunteers are a critical part of the team at Immigration Equality. Volunteer attorneys bolster the pro bono network and other volunteers aid staff in running fundraisers, translation work, organizing events, and spreading awareness about the unique set of issues that LGBTQ+ immigrants face. Immigration Equality is a unique nonprofit. The organization began focusing on what seemed to be a small issue that didn’t impact many, but the work it has done has helped to expose the real damage and danger LGBTQ+ immigrants face because of their identity. It has evoked change and legislation and helped so many folks in search of aid and validation.
40 Exchange Pl #1705
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 714-2904
Executive Director: Aaron C. Morris
New York, NY
Education and advocacy