Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

BxD’s Luis Mancheno speaks with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Política

Luis Mancheno, an immigration defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders speaks with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Política about the harmful impacts of ending Temporary Protected Status for Nicaraguans and Hondurans as well as the Diversity Visa Lottery. To watch the interview, click here.

A New York courtroom gave every detained immigrant a lawyer. The results were staggering.

In this investigation, Vox highlights the profound impact the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) has on preventing immigrants facing deportation from being separated from their families and community. The Bronx Defenders proudly serves as one of three institutional providers of free representation to detained immigrants in removal proceedings at the Varick Street Immigration…

The truth is, ‘broken windows’ policing incentivizes lies

“The lies officers tell to justify the unlawful stops, searches and questioning are a natural byproduct of this policing strategy. Once we see the root of the problem, the answer becomes obvious: The NYPD leadership needs to stop holding on to the myth that ‘broken windows’ policing is necessary to keep New York City safe…

When Race Tips the Scales in Plea Bargaining

“If there are racial disparities in pleas in misdemeanor cases that lead to worse punishment of black people, it means a significant proportion of our criminal justice system is meting out punishment in a racially-biased manner.” —BxD’s Jenn Rolnick Borchetta and Alice Fontier on the stark racial disparities in plea bargaining that have devastating impacts…

Bad Bail Practices and Immigration Policy Led To My Client’s Death At Rikers

Powerful op-ed by BxD’s Anisha Gupta for The Marshall Project on the death of her client Selmin Feratovic, who had been incarcerated for almost seven months on Rikers Island but had not been convicted of a single crime: “Selmin was killed by a system that overcharged him, incarcerated him, ignored him, and ultimately failed to protect…

Live in a Poor Neighborhood? Better Be a Perfect Parent.

Powerful op-ed by BxD’s Emma Ketteringham in the New York Times about poverty and the child-protection system: “For more than a decade, my colleagues at the Bronx Defenders and I have represented thousands of parents like Eline in child-protection proceedings. A majority of them have never abused a child. Yet child services charges them with “parental…

When Should a Child Be Taken from His Parents?

“What should you do if child-protective services comes to your house? You will hear a knock on the door, often late at night. You don’t have to open it, but if you don’t the caseworker outside may come back with the police. The caseworker will tell you you’re being investigated for abusing or neglecting your…

City Council To Force NYPD To Account For The Millions They Seize From Innocent NYers

“There has never been any vehicle for public accountability—the police department has vigorously resisted it. Finally, there will be some measure of accountability.”—Craig Levine, the policy director at The Bronx Defenders. Levine speaks with the Gothamist about the importance of the recent bill passed by the City Council that will require the NYPD to annually…

Public defenders push more DAs to ease up on turnstile jumpers

“When you have entire households in the South Bronx surviving on less than $10,000 a year, the real crime is to continue punishing people who can’t afford a MetroCard. Policies like this only compound poverty and structural inequalities in New York City.” —Alice Fontier, managing director of the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders….

What Will Trump Do with Half a Million Backlogged Immigration Cases?

New Yorker writer Jonathan Blitzer visited BxD to speak with our client Christian Yarleque about his experience in immigration detention. Mr. Yarleque, a long-time New York resident with a green card, spent over a year and a half in ICE custody before being reunited with his wife and children. His story highlights the human cost…

Haitian Asylum Seeker Freed in Landmark Bond Case

“The court has rightly recognized that low-income people should not be held in immigration detention with no end in sight while their case is pending, simply because they cannot afford to pay an immigration bond. By ruling that ability to pay must be taken into consideration when determining a bond amount, the court is ensuring…

Albany Lawmakers Reach Compromise on Faster Trials

WNYC reports on the recent compromise reached in Albany by the New York Senate Codes Committee regarding speedy trial reform. As Scott Levy, special counsel to the criminal defense practice at The Bronx Defenders, tells WNYC, the new bill “falls short of structural change” but is a “significant step” toward larger changes. We remain committed…

New York’s Mayor Junks Due Process

“As a former judge, I know firsthand the importance of having an attorney in court proceedings. Nonlawyers are rarely able to protect properly their own legal rights. Immigration proceedings are no less important or complicated than criminal ones. Yet immigrants who cannot afford an attorney are not provided one. New York City has sought to…

Judge Raps NYPD for ‘Gotcha’ Tactics in Civil Seizures

“Displeased by the New York City Police Department’s ‘troublesome’ litigation tactics, a state judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit seeking information on what happens to millions of ‘unclaimed’ dollars seized in civil forfeitures.” Courthouse News Service on the latest development in our lawsuit challenging lack of transparency in NYPD property seizures. Read the article here….

Immigrants in Detention Centers Are Often Hundreds of Miles From Legal Help

In this investigation, ProPublica demonstrates the benefits and importance of having access to free legal representation during deportation proceedings. As our client Romniel shared with the reporter, being picked up by ICE “was like a nightmare.” He continued, “It’s very important to have a lawyer to defend yourself, because I didn’t know anything about immigration…

Non-Profit Offers Free Legal Representation, Services To North Tulsa Mothers

“Oklahoma is sending the highest recorded number of women to prison, but a new non-profit program based in north Tulsa is trying to buck that trend. The group, Still She Rises, is a team of attorneys that works specifically for low-income mothers in north Tulsa, representing them for free.” BxD’s latest project, Still She Rises,…

Holistic legal aid program Still She Rises begins taking clients in north Tulsa

“What we knew initially was that we wanted to create a holistic law defender law office that could represent women in the criminal justice system, recognizing that Oklahoma is the No. 1 state for incarceration for women.” – BxD Executive Director Robin Steinberg speaking with Tulsa World about our new project, Still She Rises, Tulsa….

The Trump Era Tests the True Power of Sanctuary Cities

Is the City of New York doing everything it can to ensure safety and due process for immigrant communities? In this interview with The New Yorker, BxD Managing Director, Justine Olderman had a simple answer: “Unless we take immediate steps to protect immigrants who seek redress in our city’s courts, we should stop calling ourselves…

Trapping immigrants using NYC courts

“Allowing ICE to use the city’s court system to trap immigrants is immoral. If New York City is to live up to its promise as a sanctuary city, there can be no place for federal deportation forces in our courts.” Op-ed by BxD’s Justine Olderman for the New York Daily News. Read the piece here.