Migrants & Justice Program
USA has been home to refugees and asylum seekers from all over the world. Families have been forced to flee lawlessness and violence in their home countries.
After crossing through desert or other harsh/dangerous places and arriving at safety, many refugee families are faced with a tough challenge--the complex US legal system. Once they've landed, these families can face immigration detention, possible deportation, family separation--along with obstacles to finding jobs, housing, and education.
Our team at Hand International Inc believes that all people should have access to equal rights, and that a criminal record shouldn't prevent someone from pursuing a career he or she is passionate about.
By advocating for a more sensible immigration system that addresses the needs of immigrants and combines sensible criminal justice reforms, we're able to combat mass deportations and stop the demonization of undocumented individuals.
The Hand International's work includes ending the entanglement between immigration and the police, building strategic alliances with criminal justice advocates, and supporting directly-impacted communities. We provide information, analysis, and strategy towards expanding rights and transforming the criminal and immigration systems.
Even simple criminal charges can lead to devastating consequences for an immigrant, such as detention, deportation, and ineligibility for U.S. citizenship. In New York, judges are required to notify people of this risk before they enter a plea, though the notification is only required in felony cases and there's no standardized language that judges must use. Hand International Inc has been working on this problem and, over the years, we have expanded who gets notification and increased accountability when it's not given.