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Immigration Litigation Fund

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Support Impact Litigation
Efforts that Protect the Civil Rights of Immigrants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Borealis Philanthropy

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $75,000 to USA legal groups and community organizations for litigation efforts that drive social change and create public policy. Applicants must contact program staff prior to applying. Funding is intended to support litigation efforts that challenge discriminatory, unlawful, and overly punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices at any stage of the enforcement trajectory from identification and apprehension, to detention and removal, to detention, removal, or exclusion of immigrants.

The ILF provides time-limited, project support for funding needs related to:
- Impact litigation including but not limited to staff time, some organizational overhead (5%), travel, research, filing fees, interpreter and translation costs. Impact litigation must be focused on immigration enforcement issues;
- Convening meant to advance coordination and strategy on an issue related to impact litigation efforts;
- Legal training and training materials on immigration enforcement related issues;
- Organizing and communications efforts that are related to impact litigation efforts.

ILF prioritizes funding to effective organizations, projects, and impact litigation efforts that:
- Demonstrate an ability to partner with local and state-based, grassroots groups
- Show potential for systematic change including policy change; legal precedent, directly benefit on-going advocacy and organizing efforts; or contribute to shifting public narratives and discourse on immigration enforcement
- Work in regions with limited legal capacity
- Address issues facing under-represented communities particularly Black immigrants, Asian Pacific Islander (API) immigrants, Middle Eastern, Arab, and South Asian (MASA) immigrants, Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Transgender (LGBT) immigrants, immigrants with disabilities, immigrant women, and immigrants with contact with the criminal justice system.

In 2019, ILF’s funding will prioritize impact litigation that focuses on efforts to deport or exclude immigrants, migrants, and those seeking humanitarian protections. ILF anticipates that litigation efforts initiated to defend the rights of immigrants vulnerable to enhanced deportation or exclusion efforts may include, but are not limited to, issues related to:
- Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE accountability)
- FOIA litigation
- Obstacles to adjust status, particularly for those from countries deemed hostile to the United States
- Intersections of immigration enforcement and national security
- Access to counsel
- Withholding of state or federal funding to cities, campuses, or other locations that fail to cooperate with deportation efforts
- Efforts to expand the use of expedited removal
- Deportation related to criminal convictions
- Immigration detention including conditions of confinement, bond, parole, sexual misconduct, family detention, detention of minors, family separation
- ICE raids including those in the workplace, homes, courthouses, or “sensitive locations” such as schools, hospitals, or houses of worship
- Use of state and local government databases to identify immigrants from deportation
- Failure to provide humanitarian protection to those fleeing persecution, violence, or disaster including those attempting to enter the country and those already residing in the United States
- Prosecution of those who refuse to cooperate with enforcement initiatives
- Criminal prosecutions for entry or re-entry

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 184153

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants to the ILF can request up to $75,000 in funding.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Public interest legal groups, advocates, and community-based organizations may apply, if they are engaged in:
- Impact litigation
- Advocacy and organizing connected to impact litigation
- Communications efforts connected to impact litigation.

The ILF will not fund:
- More than 5% of on-going organizational overhead expenses such as rent, employee benefits, and other operational expenses
- Law school clinics, university-based programs, or private attorneys

Pre-Application Information:

In 2019, the ILF will have two funding application deadlines: September 1st and November 1st.

To be considered for funding, applicants must first speak with a Borealis staff person to discuss their project and then submit a proposal online, via the grant portal by the September 1st or November 1st deadline. Organizations that are encouraged to apply for funding, after a call with ILF staff, can submit an application through the grant portal.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

Contact Borealis staff:

If you think that you or someone at your organization has already registered in the system, do not create a new account. Please contact our Grants Manager, Tashie Sloley, at to receive your username and password.

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming