The fundamental constitutional protections of due process and equal protection embodied in our Constitution and Bill of Rights apply to every “person” and are not limited to citizens. The framers of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as well as the authors and ratifiers of post-Civil War amendments, all understood the essential importance of protecting non-citizens against governmental abuse and discrimination.

Our nation has unquestioned authority to control its borders and to regulate immigration. But we must exercise the awesome power to exclude or deport immigrants consistent with the rule of law, the fundamental norms of humanity and the requirements of the Constitution.

Upholding the rights of immigrants is important to us all. When the government has the power to deny legal rights and due process to one vulnerable group, everyone’s rights are at risk. Non-citizens are often the first and most vulnerable targets of government abuse.

On the local, state and Federal level the ACLU of Kentucky advocates for policies designed to protect and defend the civil liberties of all people including immigrants with and without their “papers.” The ACLU of Kentucky joins affiliates and likeminded allies from across the country in supporting Federal comprehensive immigration reform that respects the dignity of all people, and that includes an earned pathway to citizenship.


Know Your Rights: A Manual for Immigrants, Refugees, Migrants and Undocumented Individuals by the Louisville Bar Association, updated by the Hispanic Latino Coalition of Louisville, KY. (Currently available in Spanish only.)

The following resources come from other ACLU affiliates and organizations, and do not constitute legal advice: