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

  • Apr, 11, 2018: ACLU Files Class Action Lawsuit on Behalf of Immigrant Couples Torn Apart by ICE
  • Apr, 02, 2018: ACLU of RI Statement on the Inclusion of a Question about Citizenship on the 2020 Census
  • Feb, 21, 2018: ICE Cites “Lack of Child Care Issues” and “Availability of Bed Space” As Reasons for Detention

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 February 13, Lilian was released from ICE detention while her case is pending.

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 7982, S 2678)
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, and he has made it clear he has no intention of helping these individuals retain this status. In the absence of Congressional action, state officials have an essential role here to protect Dreamers. When their expires, so too will their right to drive. This legislation and it's companion in the Senate will allow these individuals to retain that right. The House passed a substitute of this bill. Read the ACLU's testimony on the bill here.  This bill is currently awaiting a floor vote in the Senate.