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 cases at the Varick Street Immigration Court – released the following joint statement today responding to the New York City Council’s Fiscal Year 2020 Budget Response which calls on the Administration to allocate and baseline $16.5 million to support immigrant legal services administered by NYIFUP:
“With this response, the City Council acknowledges NYIFUP’s success defending New Yorkers from unjust and unlawful ICE detention and deportation, and the Trump Administration’s will to separate as many families as possible. With more judges assigned and dockets expanding at local immigration courts, it is imperative that those being pushed through the immigration system without the type of due process they deserve, including most not even being brought to the courtroom in which their case is being heard, receive an attorney. This allocation will help reaffirm the City’s promise to ensure that a right to counsel extends to those facing deportation. NYIFUP thanks Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Carlos Menchaca, and the rest of the Council for prioritizing this funding.”
The New York Family Immigrant Unity Project (NYIFUP) is the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all detained indigent immigrants facing deportation at Varick Street Immigration Court who are unrepresented at their first court appearances.