Immigration and Labor Project

The Kalmanovitz Initiative’s Immigration and Labor Project (ILP) is a student project that supports grassroots efforts of community-based organizations to advance economic and social justice for immigrant communities in the DC area and nationwide.


The ILP also provides a space for the study, research and advocacy of issues that affect working and low-income immigrant communities and develops grassroots organizing skills among students by collaborating with labor leaders, scholars, workers, community members, and activists to address issues common to working and low-income immigrant communities.

Student coordinators will dedicate 5-10 hours a week actively supporting a grassroots project in conjunction with community partners. In the past, coordinators have:

  • Successfully advocated for the creation and expansion of the Immigrant Justice Legal Services Grant program that provides legal support for D.C. immigrants who are detained by ICE, preparing asylum applications, seeking citizenship, or learning about their rights.
  • Held trainings to grow Sanctuary DMV‘s Rapid Response and Accompaniment Network to respond to ICE activity in our area and accompany immigrants to their immigration hearings and check-ins.
  • Planned rallies in support of DC tenants on rent strike with the Latino Economic Development Center and a rent strike organized by ILP student coordinators at Holmead Place.
  • Mobilized students and community members to attend protests in support of a clean Dream Act, protecting Temporary Protected Status (TPS), comprehensive immigration reform, and ousting ICE from our communities.
  • Worked with Many Languages One Voice (MLOV) to support the worker-led promotor committee by conducting research on employers; strategizing with promotores and MLOV organizers; accompanying workers and committee members to file claims at the Office of Wage-Hour; and accompanying workers and committee members in walk-backs and other direct actions if deemed appropriate.
  • Partnered with the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) to research and organize with the immigrant community for better access to driver’s licenses through the Limited Purpose Driver Licenses Project in DC.

Meet Our Student Coordinators

2016-2017
Limited Purpose Driver’s Licenses Project and Worker Organizing

2015-2016
Limited Purpose Driver’s Licenses Project and Worker Organizing

2014-2015
Kendra Layton and Chris Wager

2013-2014
Sophia Sepp, Mabel Rodriguez, and Tessa Pulaski

2012-2013
Joanna Foote and Sophia Sepp

2011-2012
Emma Kelsey

2010-2011
Elisabeth Springer and Grace Wallack

Prior to the fall of 2015, the Immigration and Labor Project was known as the Day Laborer Exchange (DLE), a community-based education program that addressed structural issues affecting day laborers.