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Impact Litigation

Through our impact litigation, we seek to change discriminatory policies affecting LGBTQ and HIV-positive people. In these cases, we may only represent a small group of people, but our aim is to get rulings that are far-reaching and improves the lives of our community on a large scale.

“Death to Asylum” Rule Impact Litigation

In the summer of 2020, the Trump administration issued proposed federal regulations designed to end the asylum system in the United States. If they had gone into effect, the regulations would have resulted in the denial of most or all LGBTQ claims across the nation.  

Immigration Equality and 80,000 other entities and individuals submitted public comments demanding sweeping changes to the rule. After only four months, the administration claimed to have reviewed all the comments and made almost no changes. They announced the rule would go into effect in 30 days.

In response, Immigration Equality and Lambda Legal sued the Trump administration on behalf of the plaintiffs, Immigration Equality, Oasis, TransLatina Coalition, Transgender Law Center, and the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project.

We argued the case in early January 2021 and were able to secure a nationwide temporary restraining order against the regulations in their entirety!

“Today’s ruling halts the most sweeping illegal, anti-refugee volley of the Trump administration.
Asylum is an international human right. LGBTQ and HIV-positive refugees
fleeing persecution will always be welcomed in the U.S.”  

—Bridget Crawford, Legal Director, Immigration Equality (January 8, 2021)

Family Impact Litigation

For years, the State Department treated the children of married same-sex U.S.-citizen parents born abroad as born “out-of-wedlock,” and then it denied that they were citizens. After we brought four lawsuits against the State Department (two in conjunction with Lambda Legal), the agency issued a press release in May 2021 indicating that they had updated their policy.

    Impact Litigation Family Stories

    We brought lawsuits with co-counsel against the State Department on behalf of four families harmed by its discriminatory policy, which treated children born abroad to same-sex married couples as born “out of wedlock.” Meet the families that changed the policy for themselves and all same-sex couples and families.