Justice Action Center is a new nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting for greater justice for immigrant communities by combining litigation and storytelling. There is tremendous unmet need in the litigation landscape for immigrant communities. JAC is committed to bringing additional litigation resources to bear to address unmet needs in currently underserved areas. There is also untapped potential in how litigation can be combined with digital strategies to empower clients and change the corrosive narrative around immigrants. Communications content around litigation that focuses primarily on putting forward legal voices to talk about immigrants does not have the same authentic voice as putting forward immigrants as the protagonists. JAC will focus on the creation of original content that amplifies immigrant voices. We believe that real change will come only when a larger base of supporters are activated on immigration issues—only then will courthouse wins pave the way for lasting change. JAC will partner with direct service providers and organizers to leverage the power of the existing landscape of immigrants’ rights organizations and also to fill in holes where impact litigation should be brought (but currently isn’t), or where communications and digital expertise could help reshape the narrative around immigration and immigrants.
Precious impact litigation resources are currently being spread unevenly. While there is a deep bench of attorneys ready to take on high-profile issues, such as the termination of DACA or the latest asylum ban, other issues appear to have no legal advocacy. Examples include the massive worksite raids in underserved states such as Ohio and Texas or the severe abuses immigrants face in the nation’s vast detention system.
Underrepresented in Digital Media
There is a paucity of original, immigrant-centered digital content. The nation’s narrative no longer has to be set only by policymakers—it can be shaped by everyday people, including immigrants. We have not harnessed the power of the current digital landscape to promote pro-immigrant messages and engage new audiences.
JAC will develop and litigate cases on subjects that will have a large impact on immigrants’ rights and in locations that are currently underserved.
JAC will work with immigrant communities to produce and disseminate more original content and stories where immigrants are seen not as victims but rather actors who are creating positive change.
JAC will deploy cutting-edge digital and communications strategies through videos, graphics, and potentially podcasts and blogs to engage new audiences on the importance of immigrants’ rights.
JAC believes in a movement-oriented approach to its work. JAC will partner with direct service providers and organizers to leverage the power of the existing landscape of immigrants’ rights organizations and also to fill in holes where impact litigation should be brought (but currently isn’t), or where communications and digital expertise could help reshape the narrative around immigration and immigrants.
Community-based organizations are well positioned to identify areas of need and winning goals, but may lack impact litigation expertise or communications infrastructure. By partnering with these organizations to bring lawsuits and create digital content, JAC provides a new way for advocates to determine outcomes for their communities.
How We Are Different
- Unlike many organizations in the space, JAC will not be locked into a specific subject matter lane, nor will its actions or success be defined by headline-grabbing issues.
- JAC's priority is filling unmet needs, and our direction is guided by the issues facing nonprofit partners’ clients and members.
- For JAC, success might look like being the first to help a direct service provider file a class-action lawsuit on an issue affecting its clients, or by being the first to create original, engaging digital content for a grassroots organization.
- JAC's communications strategy is designed to surface emotionally engaging content to build a broader audience pushing for changes to our immigration system. If the work is done right, the effects will not only help counter the current anti-immigrant abuses of this administration, but will help our country move toward a more humane future.
Challenging airport detentions of DACA recipients
Developing a legal and communications strategy to challenge the systematic re-verification and detention of DACA recipients at Arizona and Texas airports when traveling domestically designed to end this practice and to advocate for reduced funding for immigration enforcement.
Ending the use of dental records to “age” unaccompanied children
Developing a class-action case challenging the use of dental scans to age unaccompanied minors and place them in adult detention facilities, stripping them of legal protections for minors.
Developing a communications strategy around the dental scan case to reach African Americans who are engaged on mass incarceration or school-to-prison pipeline issues.
Seeking justice for immigrants victimized by unscrupulous legal services providers
Developing a legal and communications strategy around notario fraud in California designed to obtain court orders to help reopen the deportation proceedings for immigrants victimized by notarios and to advocate for stronger notario fraud protections.
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