Vera's Center on Immigration and Justice (CIJ) works with government, nonprofit partners, and communities to improve government systems that affect immigrants’ lives. CIJ focuses on two objectives: increasing immigrants’ access to legal services, and improving relationships between immigrant communities and law enforcement. The center administers legal services programs, develops and implements pilot programs, provides technical assistance, and conducts evaluation and empirical research.

Related Work

Rising to the Moment: Advancing the National Movement for Universal Representation

Years 1-3 of the SAFE Initiative

In 2017, the Vera Institute of Justice launched the Safety and Fairness for Everyone Network—now known as the SAFE Initiative or “SAFE”—to counter the fundamental and urgent injustices facing immigrants caught up in the nation’s immigration enforcement system. With roots in Vera's work for the past 15 years building the government-funded removal de ...

December 15, 2020

Series: Target 2020

The Tipping Point for Universal Representation for Immigrants

In early October, ICE reported that, within a six-day span, it arrested 172 immigrants across six “sanctuary cities”: Baltimore, Denver, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, DC. These cities all have policies in place that are intended to foster trust between local law enforcement and immigrants in their jurisdictions, and yet parents, ...

Blog Post
  • Melissa Garlick
    Melissa Garlick
  • Annie Chen
    Annie Chen
October 29, 2020
Blog Post

Series: Covid-19

Without an attorney, I might still be confined in a detention facility with COVID-19

It could have been very bad for me when people started to get sick with coronavirus, but I had good lawyers to fight for me. When they told me I would get out, I was very nervous. I was shaking because I couldn’t believe what was happening. I was excited, but my body was shaking. Sometimes I can’t even believe that I am out, after 21 months. It fee ...

Blog Post
  • Paul, a NYIFUP client
July 09, 2020
Blog Post