Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

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.

A Critical Civil Rights Tool Is on the Chopping Block

“With threats to the balance of power in this country on the rise, protecting the class action is urgent. Courts can serve as a check against civil rights violations, but only if lawyers are able to bring cases that challenge government abuse.” Op-ed by BxD’s Jenn Rolnick Borchetta for The Marshall Project on new pro-business legislation that could…

Sanctuary Cities in Name Only

“It’s not enough for cities like New York to declare themselves ‘sanctuaries,’ which simply means that the local police won’t detain noncitizens on the federal government’s behalf. If cities really want to protect immigrants, they must also end the quota-driven style of policing that makes immigrants the victims of unnecessary arrests and disproportionate punishment…” Op-ed…

New York Police Dept. Agrees to Curb Stop-and-Frisk Tactics

“We’re talking about stops and frisks and arrests in the sanctity of people’s homes that have had an incredible human toll on the relationship between the community and the police,” said Johanna Steinberg, director of the Impact Litigation Practice at The Bronx Defenders, which was also part of the lawsuit. “This will create accountability and…

City-Funded Lawyers Help More Detained Immigrants Win Cases

“Since its launch in 2013, the project has provided lawyers for 2,000 immigrants through a partnership with three public defender organizations: Bronx Defenders, the Legal Aid Society and Brooklyn Defender Services.” WNYC story on the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first public defender program in the country for people in…

Case Challenging Delays in Bronx Court Can Proceed with New Plaintiffs

“The Bronx Defenders won a partial victory in its suit challenging notoriously long delays for misdemeanor trials in the Bronx. But it will have to proceed with new plaintiffs. The public defender organization filed its federal lawsuit in the spring, claiming the delays violate the U.S. Constitution’s right to a speedy trial…” Listen to the…

How Segregation Enables Over-Policing of Communities of Color

“An hour ride on most NYC subway lines should be enough to see how New York City, for all its diversity, is an economically and racially segregated city. A few stops along that same ride can also illustrate how policing in communities varies depending on the neighborhood. Take the D train from 59th-Columbus Circle to…

NYPD needs to come clean on seized property data

“Whether through litigation or legislation, New Yorkers must have access to full information regarding these practices. It’s time for the NYPD to open its books.” Adam Shoop, attorney in the Civil Action Practice at The Bronx Defenders, writes for amNew York on the need for transparency regarding NYPD property seizure practices. Read his op-ed here. For more…

Judge slaps down state’s defense of ‘structural and systematic’ delays in Bronx trials by invoking segregationist South

“A judge compared state lawyers’ arguments in a case on court delays to the pre-Civil Rights Era South, suggesting Wednesday their position against federal intervention might have been used by segregationists. The Bronx Defenders alleged in a May lawsuit that those in the borough facing misdemeanor charges suffer from “structural and systematic” delays in their…