Immigration Equality is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. Founded in 1994 as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, Immigration Equality provides legal aid and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families.
Immigration Equality is the first and only organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to achieving full equality for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants. We pioneered the field of LGBT/HIV immigration law and helped win major policy victories including ending the ban on immigration and travel for people with HIV. Its two complementary roles—as lawyers providing free legal counsel to thousands of LGBT/HIV-positive immigrants each year, and as advocates pressing for policy changes to end the discrimination their clients face—make Immigration Equality a uniquely qualified and effective champion for LGBT/HIV-positive immigrants.
Immigration Equality focuses its legal services in three main areas: recognition for binational (American/foreign national) families, detention, and asylum. Informed by the discrimination its legal clients face, Immigration Equality advocates for policy changes throughout the immigration system, advances impact litigation, and engages in legislative lobbying and coalition-building through its sister 501(c)4 organization, Immigration Equality Action Fund. It launches coordinated media events to demonstrate the human toll of legalized LGBT/HIV immigration discrimination and to build public support for change.
Headquartered in New York, with a policy office in Washington, D.C., our staff of 21 yields an enormous impact for its small size. Leveraging the pro bono services of more than 40 pre-eminent law firms, Immigration Equality fielded 2, 740 inquiries to its legal hotline, has won hundreds of asylum claims for LGBT and HIV+ people fleeing persecution abroad, and delivered more than $12 million in donated legal services in 2010. Our clients and organizational experts have appeared in countless media, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, National Public Radio, The San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, The Nation, The Los Angeles Times and other mainstream, LGBT, progressive and online press outlets.