Legal Rights and Protection

Legal Rights and Protection

Over 1,000 United We Dream members march to the Harris County Sheriff’s office in Texas as a part of UWD's Houston Beyond ICE campaign, which helped put an end to police collaboration with federal immigration enforcement agents in the city of Houston. (Jassiel Perez-Silvas/United We Dream)


We promote policies that treat immigrants fairly, protect them against discrimination and mistreatment, and allow them to contribute fully to their new communities.

In the United States

In the United States, we focus on the following areas:

Federal immigration policymaking: 

We support non-lobbying initiatives to improve public understanding of immigration issues and the need for reforms that put 11 million immigrants without legal status on a path to citizenship. We also support projects that offer analysis and recommendations for reforms that are responsive to the country’s economic and social conditions.

Immigrant voices: 

We support lifting up the voices of immigrants to ensure policymakers and other decisionmakers learn about and understand these perspectives. We also seek to strengthen the leadership skills of immigrants and expand the capacity of their organizations and networks to work in the policymaking arena.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA): 

We support outreach and application assistance projects aimed at maximizing the number of immigrants who benefit from the DACA program, and we promote the integration of these beneficiaries. This is the only area in which we support direct service programs, and our funding focuses on a small number of states with limited philanthropic resources, as well as under-represented populations that include women, Asian Americans, and black immigrants. We also coordinate with other funders to increase public support for the reforms and to defend against attacks in the policy arena.

Immigration enforcement and local law enforcement: 

We support humane immigration enforcement policies that foster safe communities, with a focus on improving the policies and practices of local law enforcement agencies. This includes advocacy and litigation to challenge local or state enforcement practices that violate legal rights and undermine immigrant integration.

The following grants are examples of this strategic priority:

National Immigration Law Center
United We Dream Network
America’s Voice Education Fund
National Day Laborer Organizing Network
ACLU Immigrant Rights Project



In the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, we focus on the following areas:

Improving decision-making processes: 

We seek to secure the rights of migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers by working to improve the decision-making process in government agencies and the court system. We support the provision of education, guidance and training to lawyers, non-legal practitioners, frontline government officials, and decision-makers.

Increasing access to quality advice and representation: 

We invest in organizations and initiatives that increase access to quality advice and representation in immigration and asylum cases.

Protection of rights: 

We seek to advance a better legal and policy framework, where appropriate, and to implement existing bedrock laws that protect all individual rights. We support advocacy, communications, and strategic litigation initiatives to achieve this goal.

The following collaborations and grants are examples of this strategic priority:

Future Advice Fund
Birmingham Community Law Centre
Justice First Fellowship