Immigration Justice Campaign to Receive $100K Human Rights Award in New York City

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The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) and the Puffin Foundation honors the Immigration Justice Campaign for its human rights activism to increase access to legal counsel for thousands of immigrants held in detention centers across the country.

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is delighted to announce that the 2019 ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism will go to The Immigration Justice Campaign in support of its efforts to increase access to legal counsel for thousands of immigrants held in detention centers across the country. One of the largest monetary awards for human rights in the world, the ALBA/Puffin Award is a $100,000 cash prize granted annually by ALBA and the Puffin Foundation to honor the nearly 3,000 Americans who volunteered in the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) to fight fascism under the banner of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. This year’s award acknowledges the urgent need to safeguard the human rights of immigrants and refugees worldwide, not only those affected by the policies of the current U.S. administration, but anyone targeted by the rising xenophobia around the globe. The award ceremony will take place at the Museum of the City of New York on May 5 at 5pm.

“With the crisis for refugees and immigrants at our southern border continuing unabated, we hope the prize will help focus on a true humanitarian crisis and the important human rights work of the attorneys of the Immigration Justice Campaign.” – Neal Rosenstein, Puffin Foundation

The Immigration Justice Campaign was founded in January 2017 as a joint initiative by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the American Immigration Council. It has been tireless in fighting in court against illegal and inhumane policies and promoting ways for the broader legal community across the country to provide pro bono assistance for this critical work.

“The Immigration Justice Campaign is deeply honored to receive the ALBA/Puffin Award. Our 9,000 volunteer lawyers, interpreters, social workers, and advocates are dedicated to fighting together for a fair day in court for detained immigrants.” – Karen Lucas, Immigration Justice Campaign Director

The Immigration Justice Campaign believes strongly that every person deserves a fair day in court. Yet, 86% of detained immigrants are without an attorney. Working exclusively with volunteers, the Immigration Justice Campaign places people on the ground, at the border, inside the ICE detention centers and before judges in makeshift courtrooms, to ensure that arriving migrants and those with asylum claims are not subject to the government’s cruel deportation system that has no purpose but to criminalize them . Currently, there are 9000+ volunteers in network, including lawyers, mental health professionals, interpreters and law students. To date 926 volunteers served 15,296 families detained in Texas (through the Justice Campaign’s partner, the Dilley Pro Bono Project). Furthermore, 573 volunteers served 469 individuals facing deportation around the country, and 236 separated families had an attorney by their side.

The ALBA/Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism is an initiative to sustain the legacy of the experiences, aspirations and idealism of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. It supports contemporary international activists and human rights causes. Philanthropist and visionary Perry Rosenstein, President of the Puffin Foundation, created and established an endowed fund for this human rights award in 2010.

ALBA Annual Celebration and Award Ceremony
Sunday, May 5, 5-6:30pm | Reception Following
Museum of the City of New York | 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St.
Tickets go on sale March 5 at

The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives:
The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives (ALBA) is an educational non-profit dedicated to promoting social activism and the defense of human rights. ALBA’s work is inspired by the American volunteers of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade who fought fascism in the Spanish Civil War (1936-39). Drawing on the ALBA collections in New York University’s Tamiment Library, and working to expand such collections, ALBA works to preserve the legacy of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade as an inspiration for present and future generations.

Other recipients of the ALBA/ Puffin Award for Human Rights Activism include investigative journalists Lydia Cacho and Jeremy Scahill; Judge Baltasar Garzón; Kate Doyle and Fredy Peccerelli, who work to expose human rights violations in Guatemala; United We Dream, a national network of youth-led immigrant activist organizations that fight for the rights of millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States; public-interest lawyer Bryan Stevenson;
Proactiva Open Arms, dedicated to rescuing migrants in the Mediterranean; and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a worker-based labor and human rights organization founded in Florida in 1993.

The Puffin Foundation:
Since it was founded in 1983, the Puffin Foundation Ltd. has sought to open the doors of artistic expression by providing grants to artists and art organizations who are often excluded from mainstream opportunities due to their race, gender, or social philosophy. The Puffin, a species whose nesting sites were endangered by encroaching civilization, were encouraged to return to their native habitats through the constructive efforts of a concerned citizenry. The Foundation has adopted the name Puffin as a metaphor for how it perceives its mission, which is to ensure that the arts continue to grow and enrich our lives. In so doing, it has joined with other concerned groups and individuals toward achieving that goal. The Puffin Foundation is also a long-standing supporter of ALBA’s educational mission.

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