Redefining public defense.

The Bronx Defenders New York Immigrant Family Unity Project

Joint Statement from NYIFUP Legal Providers on City Council Response Recommending $16.5 Million to Support Crucial Immigrant Legal Services

JOINT STATEMENT FROM NYIFUP LEGAL PROVIDERS ON CITY COUNCIL RESPONSE RECOMMENDING $16.5 MILLION TO SUPPORT CRUCIAL IMMIGRANT LEGAL SERVICES (NEW YORK, NY) – The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and The Bronx Defenders – New York City’s defender organizations providing free legal representation through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) to detained immigrants with pending…

New York Daily News: Public defenders call on city to invest more money in legal representation for immigrants facing deportation

The Bronx Defenders, Legal Aid Society, and Brooklyn Defender Services asked City Council for an increased budget in order to represent immigrants facing deportation at Varick Street. “The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services and Bronx Defenders will ask during a budget hearing for $16.6 million for the next fiscal year–an increase of $6.6 million.”…

New York Daily News: Everyone in immigration detention needs a lawyer: The nation should follow New York’s lead

“NYIFUP demonstrated the importance of publicly-funded deportation defense, raising the level of practice in the court and strengthening both fairness and efficiency. The Vera Institute of Justice evaluated NYIFUP, finding that 48% of immigrants succeeded in their cases, while unrepresented immigrants in the same court were successful only 4% of the time. NYIFUP also produced other benefits…

Lawfare Blog: New York Lawsuit Challenges Replacement of Immigration Court Hearings with Video Technology

“The suit alleges violations of class members’ First Amendment rights to access the courts and Fifth Amendment due process rights as well as violations of provisions of the INA guaranteeing fair hearings and access to counsel during removal proceedings and the Rehabilitation Act, which requires reasonable accommodations for those with disabilities.” Read the full article…

NPR: County Officials Shutting ICE Out Of Local Jails

“Families and lawyers and their community are here. And the separation from those resources is critical to enabling detainees to actually win their cases and remain permanently in the United States or obtain release on bond,” says Ryan Brewer, our Supervising Attorney for Immigration. Read the entire transcript here  

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…

Joint Statement from NYIFUP Legal Providers on ICE’s Refusal to Bring People to Immigration Court for Hearings

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** JOINT STATEMENT FROM NYIFUP LEGAL PROVIDERS ON ICE’S REFUSAL TO BRING PEOPLE TO IMMIGRATION COURT FOR HEARINGS DENYING IN-PERSON APPEARANCES WILL IMPACT DUE PROCESS, ACCESS TO COUNSEL, AND EXACERBATE SEPARATION FROM FAMILIES AND LOVED ONES Andrea Nieves, Brooklyn Defender Services, 718-483-1312, anieves@bds.org Anna Kim, The Bronx Defenders, 646-504-2977, annakim@bronxdefenders.org Redmond Haskins, The…

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…

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…

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….

City & State: Criminal justice reform would protect immigrants from deportation

In order to truly protect immigrant New Yorkers from ICE and keep our families and communities whole, we must recognize how deeply intertwined all of the various justice systems are. Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders along with Tina Luongo, Attorney-in-charge of the Criminal Practice at The Legal Aid Society and Lisa Schreibersdorf,…

BxD’s Lauren Migliaccio speaks with Telemundo

Lauren Migliaccio, attorney in our Immigration Practice, sits down with Telemundo to shed light on ICE’s use of call-in letters as a way to trap immigrants and how this practice has devastating repercussions for our clients and their families. Watch the interview here.

The Intercept: ICE Evades Sanctuary Rules by Using NYPD Fingerprints to Find Immigrants and Send Them Call-in Letters

Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director of the Immigration Practice, and immigration attorney Lauren Migliaccio speak with The Intercept on ICE’s recent adoption of call-in letters as a way to trap immigrants. We have witnessed firsthand how ICE is further exploiting the deep fear felt in immigrant communities by sending letters to people after they have…

BxD’s Justine Olderman Interview with BronxNet TV’s “Today’s Verdict”

“What we’re trying to do is redefine public defense and in doing so, transform the way that people are treated in our justice system…we go wherever the client goes and we defend that client by whatever means necessary.” Justine Olderman, Executive Director of The Bronx Defenders sits down with BronxNet Community Television’s “Today’s Verdict” with…

BxD’s Sarah Deri Oshiro speaks with NY1 Noticias’ Pura Política

Sarah Deri Oshiro, managing director of our Immigration Practice speaks with NY1 Noticias about the urgent need for ICE to stop targeting New Yorkers who are seeking due process and for the New York State court system to prohibit ICE from entering our courthouses. Watch the interview here.

The Bronx Defenders and Legal Aid Issue a Joint Statement on Bronx ICE Courthouse Arrest

***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*** BRONX DEFENDERS, LEGAL AID JOINT STATEMENT ON BRONX ICE COURTHOUSE ARREST BRONX, NY –The Bronx Defenders and The Legal Aid Society issued the following joint statement this afternoon after Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested a Legal Aid Society client outside of Bronx Criminal Court which prompted the subsequent walkout and protest…

BxD’s Scott Levy & Sarah Deri Oshiro speaks with BronxTalk

Scott Levy, Special Counsel to the Criminal Defense Practice and Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director of the Immigration Practice sit down and speak with BronxTalk. Scott Levy discusses how to bring meaningful change to New York’s bail system: “The issue is that our bail statute is not used properly right now…If we started actually using…

The Place Where One Was Born Cannot Determine Our Access to Courts

Powerful HuffPost op-ed by Luis Mancheno, an immigration defense attorney at The Bronx Defenders about ICE’s intrusive presence in the courts depriving people access to due process: “ICE needs to be stopped and it needs to be stopped today…It is imperative that Chief Judge Janet DiFiore takes all the necessary steps to stop federal immigration…

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…