Immigration Issues The ACLU of Rhode Island is Involved With - Court Cases, Legislation, News Releases


Protecting Civil Liberties in Rhode Island for Over 50 Years



Almost all of us are the offspring of immigrants to this country. Too often, however, the latest arrivals to our shore face widespread discrimination. When the government can deny legal rights to one group of people, everyone’s rights are at risk.  The ACLU works to ensure that the fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection apply to every person, regardless of race, ethnicity, place of origin, or spoken language.

Immigration in the News

  • Aug, 14, 2018: ICE and USCIS Conspired to Arrest, Detain Immigrants Wishing to Remain with Families
  • Jun, 29, 2018: ICE Says it May Arrest And Detain Immigrants Showing up for Interviews to Change Legal Status
  • Jun, 26, 2018: ACLU of RI Statement in Response to U.S. Supreme Court Muslim Ban Decision

View All Immigration Related News Releases »

Immigration Related Court Cases

2018: Calderon v. Nielsen
Category: Active Case    Discrimination    Racial/Ethnic Discrimination    Due Process    Fair Administration of Justice    Immigration    

About This Case:
This is petition for writ of habeas corpus on behalf of ICE detainee Lilian Calderon, 30, a Rhode Islander and Guatemalan immigrant mother of two who came to the U.S. when she was 3.

Current Status:
In April, the ACLU filed a separate class action lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s pattern of separating married couples and families pursuing lawful immigration status. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit is Lilian Calderon.

On August 14, 2018, new documents revealed that ICE and USCIS conspired to arrest, detain and deport immigrants seeking legal status.

Adriana Lafaille, Matt Segal - ACLU of Massachusetts


Supporting Documents
2017: ACLU v. U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Category: Active Case    Discrimination    Racial/Ethnic Discrimination    Immigration    Open Government    

About This Case:
This is a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit demanding government documents about the on-the-ground implementation of President Trump's Muslim bans.  Filed on behalf of six New England ACLU Affiliates, the lawsuit seeks records from the Boston field office of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) related to CBP's implementation of President Trump's Muslim bans at T.F. Green, Bradley, Bangor, Burlington, Logan and Manchester airports.

Current Status:
Lawsuit filed in April 2017.

ACLU Attorney:
Zachary Heiden, Legal Director, ACLU of Maine

Supporting Documents

View All Rights of Immigrants Court Cases »

Related Legislation

DACA Driver’s Licenses (H 7982B, S 2678A) PASSED
Category: 2018    Immigrants' Rights    

Over 1,200 DACA recipients live in Rhode Island and are directly affected by the President's repeal last year of the order establishing the DACA program, providing some protections to young people brought to this country while they were minors. In the absence of Congressional action, state officials have an essential role to protect Dreamers. As of now, when Dreamers lose their DACA protections, they will also lose their right to drive. Legislation sponsored by Rep. Shelby Maldonado (H 7982B) and Sen. Michael McCaffrey (S 2678A) sought to ensure otherwise, protecting their ability to drive legally. Read the ACLU's testimony on the bill here.  The House and Senate each passed amended versions of this legislation, and Governor Raimondo signed it into law in June.