Rights & Resources

Basic Rights

I:  Every individual in the U.S., including undocumented immigrants, has the right to remain silent and seek legal help if stopped by immigration or police officer (National Immigration Law Center).

For factsheet (available in Chinese, Korean, Arabic and Spanish):


Relating to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests



II:  NYC Immigration Hotline (staffed by Legal Aid Society – interpreters available)




III: Executive Order on Travel Ban*

 How this may affect individuals who are US citizens, permanent residents, holders of student, scholar and work visas, and how to seek assistance from immigration attorneys:


*As of late Friday (2/3/2017), there has been a federal court ruling and subsequent appeals court decision against this Executive Order.


IV:  What to do if you have been a victim of a hate crime:

A hate crime is a criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.


  • Get medical help, if necessary.
  • Seek assistance and support from family and friends.
  • Write down all of the details of the crime as soon as possible after the incident. Describe the perpetrator[s]’ gender, age, physical and other distinguishing characteristics. Include any threats or biased comments in the report.
  • File a police report.

– Get the responding officer’s name and badge number

–  Make sure the officer files an incident report form and assigns a case number. Always get your own copy, even of the preliminary report.

– If you believe the incident was bias-motivated, urge the officer to check the “hate/bias-motivation” or “hate crime/incident” box on the police report.

  • Call the toll-free hotline 1-888-392-3644 recently launched by Gov. Cuomo to report incidents of bias and discrimination across the state.
  • File a report online with https://www.standagainsthatred.org , an organization that documents hate incidents and crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders by tracking stories about hate incidents received from people around the country. The stories are vetted by AAJC staff and posted anonymously.
  • Get professional help:

Safe Horizon: provides information, counseling, and other assistance to crime victims. Their 24-hour hotlines  866-689-HELP (4357)  operate seven days a week, 365 days a year (more than 150 languages available).  For help with rape and sexual assault, please call: 212-227-3000.  To access one of the Community Program locations, call the centralized Citywide Helpline 855-234-1042, during normal business hours (Mon. – Fri. 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.).

New York State Office of Victim Services: provides counseling, legal and financial assistance. To locate local offices:  https://www.ovs.ny.gov/


National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs: provides direct services to the immediate needs of LGBTQ & HIV-affected victims and survivors of any type of violence in New York City.  Services include crisis intervention, safety planning, short or long-term counseling, police, court and social services advocacy and accompaniment, as well as information and referrals to anyone who calls the free bilingual (English/Spanish) 24-hour, 365-day-a-year crisis hotline  212.714.1141  or comes to the main offices and intake sites.



V:  The following are advocacy and educational organizations that work on the frontlines of civil rights to guarantee freedom and justice for all Americans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, disability and immigration status. They may also offer information on resources for specific populations.

American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

American Association of University Women

Anti-Defamation League

Asian American Justice Center

Hindu American Foundation

Human Rights Campaign

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

Muslin Advocates

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

National Bullying Prevention Center

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Council of Jewish Women

National Disability Rights Network

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

National Organization for Women

Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund

The Sikh Coalition

Southern Poverty Law Center


VI:  Where to seek help if you have been a victim of discrimination

Under the Human Rights Law in New York, every citizen has an “equal opportunity to enjoy a full and productive life.”This law protects you from discrimination in areas such as employment, education, credit, and purchasing or renting a home or commercial space based on:

  • Race
  • Creed
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military status
  • Sex
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Domestic violence victim status
  • Disability
  • Pregnancy-related condition
  • Predisposing genetic characteristics
  • Prior arrest or conviction record
  • Familial status
  • Retaliation for opposing unlawful discriminatory practices


NY State Division of Human Rights

Individuals who feel they have been discriminated against can file a complaint with the Division of Human Rights.  Once a complaint is filed, the Division of Human Rights will investigate and may present the case in a public hearing.

https://dhr.ny.gov/  (different language access including Chinese, Korean and Arabic)


To download complaint filing form and get info re: investigative procedure:



NYC Human Rights Commission


The Commission’s Law Enforcement Bureau (LEB) enforces the NYC Human Rights Law. Members of the public may file a complaint with LEB about their own experience. A lawyer may file a complaint with LEB on a client’s behalf. Service providers, community organizations, elected officials, or individuals may bring specific incidents or potential patterns of discrimination to LEB’s attention, and LEB can initiate its own investigation.


VII:  How we can help when we witness a bias attack:





VIII:  What we can do if we witness bullying among children and adolescents



IX:  How to provide counseling and referral services to victims of hate crimes and bias attacks:



X:  How we can organize on a community-wide level:


Effective bullying prevention efforts involve students, parents, teachers, and community members:



XI:  Self care for people of color and trauma:




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