Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders In the News

The Marshall Project: City of Fear

For many asylum seekers in New York, Trump’s immigration policies take away their futures in the US and force them back into dangerous situations. In this collaboration between New York Magazine and The Marshall Project, undocumented immigrants share their experiences with both tragedy and resilience under this administration. Attorneys from The Bronx Defenders helped contribute…

WBAI: Child Welfare System and Family Separations in the Bronx

In 2017, the Bronx had more than 30% of all child removals in NYC and double the amount of emergency removals — which refers to removing children without court order, the most extreme choice a child protective agency can make — than the next highest borough. “We represent parents who are being charged with being…

Politico: Judge orders NYPD to enact pilot program on low-level stops

Judge orders NYPD to enact pilot program on low-level stops By Brendan Cheney A federal judge overseeing stop-and-frisk-related cases has ordered the New York Police Department to conduct a pilot program to record lower-level encounters that don’t rise to a full police stop. The plaintiffs in the case, community advocates, and a facilitator appointed by…

The New School Center for NYC Affairs: Child Welfare Surge Continues

“[Emergency removals] are the most traumatic for children,” says Emma Ketteringham, Managing Director of our Family Defense Practice. “They’re often done in the middle of the night, without preparation. You find out five minutes before that your child is going to be removed.” Administration for Children’s Services data shows a sharp increase in what are…

NY Daily News: NYPD told to better document more street encounters — the latest chapter from stop and frisk trial that criticized treatment of minorities

A court had ordered NYPD to begin documenting low-level investigative police-citizen encounters as part of a pilot program. We cannot ensure stop and frisk ends without turning a spotlight on NYPD activity that has long been in the darkness. “Very often, officers are responding to instances where things are not so clear,” said Jenn Rolnick…

DocumentedNY: For One Man, Immigration Detention Nearly Meant Death

When Miguel Almonte was finally released from ICE detention and had emergency surgery to remove his gallstones, his doctor told him he was lucky to be alive. “If I would have stayed a little longer there, I don’t know what would have happened.” Miguel Almonte technically never lost his green card, was on disability, and…

Woodhull Sexual Freedom Presentation: Beyond Incarceration: The Policing of Black Women and Children Through the Child Welfare System?

Erin Cloud, the supervising attorney for our Family Defense Practice, shares her talk from the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit about how the womb to fostercare pipeline separates babies from their mothers. The womb to fostercare pipeline makes it more likely for low-income, women of color to lose their children at childbirth due to prior involvement…

NAPD: An Interview with Justine Olderman

The Bronx Defenders recently joined the National Association for Public Defense. Our Executive Director, Justine Olderman, speaks with the NAPD on The Bronx Defenders’ holistic defense model, passionate staff, and working closely with the Bronx community. “One of the pillars of our model of holistic defense is ‘a deep connection to and understanding of the…

Socialist Worker: Families Separated Away from the Border

Dinah Ortiz-Adames is the Senior Parent Advocate at The Bronx Defenders, an activist and advocate, and a mother who has been through the separation from her children due to child welfare authorities. In an interview with Socialist Worker, she emphasizes how her past is now passion for her clients who are going through the same…

BxD’s Luis Mancheno speaks with CBS News

“Immigration detention, or caging parents and families is not the solution. The question for Americans is, is it fair to make people fleeing terrible violence choose between death and jail?” Our immigration attorney Luis Mancheno sits down with CBS News to speak about the crisis at the border and why family detention and family separation…

The New York Times: New Yorkers Facing Deportation Lose Their (Physical) Day in Court

“The fact that someone is not physically in the courtroom really hinders a lot of the less tangible aspects of our successful representation. A judge is less able to assess a person’s credibility if they are not sitting in the room.” Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director of our Immigration Practice illustrates the harmful repercussions of ICE’s refusal…

HuffPost: Addiction Should Not Be Punishable By Deportation

“Samuel is the father of four US-born children whose favorite place for family outings was Applebee’s. He was also a green card-holder who was facing deportation. He had come to the United States in his teens fleeing from gang violence and a life marked by severe neglect, parental abandonment, and chronic community violence. After a…

The Appeal: Locked Up for Three Decades Without a Trial

Jenny Semmel, Supervising Mental Health Attorney in our Criminal Defense Practice speaks with The Appeal about how people with mental illness can spend years trapped in the justice system because they have been found “unfit for trial” and must undergo a competency evaluation to be deemed “competent” for trial. New York’s Article 730 directly links the amount…

Gothamist: NYPD Will Stop Arresting SOME People For Smoking Pot

“It’s not really clear what they’re trying to accomplish with this policy—either marijuana should be something that brings people through the criminal process, or it shouldn’t be.” Mayor Bill de Blasio’s new marijuana arrest policy will issue a criminal court summonses—$100 for a first offense—to those caught smoking marijuana, rather than making a misdemeanor arrest….

Boston University Law Review: Curbing Collateral Punishment in the Big Data Age

In this era of big data, law enforcement agencies have tools to conduct mass surveillance and collect an enormous amount of information about the public in daily investigative activities. Jenn Rolnick Borchetta, Deputy Director of our Impact Litigation Practice, describes in this Boston University Law Review article how sealing laws can be used to protect…

CBS News: Sessions announces stricter asylum rules for victims of domestic battery, gang violence

In response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement of a policy to tighten restrictions on people seeking asylum from domestic battery and gang violence, our immigration attorney Luis Mancheno notes that the reach of this unilateral and unchecked decision cannot be understated. “In his decision today, the Attorney General has singularly precluded victims of horrific forms of violence…

CBS News: Seeking asylum: An immigrant’s journey to America

“Seeking asylum is not a privilege, it’s a right. Every single human being in the world has that right. People think it’s a gift. It’s not. It’s an obligation.” In a powerful documentary by CBS News, our immigration attorney Luis Mancheno sheds light on the arduous process he and other asylum seekers have faced in…

POLITICO, WNYC, UNIVISION, others cover dual press conference

There has been a 1,200% increase of ICE enforcement in our courthouses from 2016 to 2017, having a chilling effect on the ability of people to seek justice in our courts. In order to ensure that all New Yorkers have the right to seek justice and enjoy the protections of our judicial system, advocates gathered…

Human Rights Watch: New York City: Don’t Exclude Certain Immigrants from Legal Services

A carveout under NYC’s administration excludes immigrants with certain criminal convictions from receiving city-funded immigrant legal services, including representation in deportation proceedings. As a public defender office and provider of universal defense for immigrants in removal proceedings, we are guided by a fundamental belief in due process and liberty not for some, but for all….