From its founding The Bronx Defenders has stood in solidarity with our immigrant neighbors in the Bronx, tailoring our model of public defense to their unique needs when they come into contact with the criminal and family courts’ justice system.
Our Immigration Practice has three components: early intervention, benefits advocacy, and deportation defense.
Early Intervention and Mitigation Advocacy
Holistic defense teams at The Bronx Defenders include full-time immigration attorneys who are trained to support our non-citizen clients through a criminal, family or civil proceeding and help them make informed and strategic decisions to protect their immigration status. Even low-level arrests can have devastating consequences on our clients’ ability to remain in the United States with their families. Our immigration attorneys understand the complex intersection between these areas of law and work together with their teammates from the beginning of a case to achieve the best possible outcome for our non-citizen clients.
In addition to mitigating the immigration consequences of contact with the criminal justice system or family court, our immigration attorneys also take proactive steps to screen for and directly represent clients in their attempts to obtain or improve their immigration status. Through our initial intake, we check their eligibility for affirmative benefits, including citizenship, adjustment of status and green card renewals, employment authorization, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U- and T-visas and DACA. We then represent them free of charge in these applications for immigration benefits before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. We also provide advice and counsel regarding these affirmative benefits to our community members through our Community Intake.
Through the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), The Bronx Defenders serves as one of three institutional providers of free representation to detained immigrants in removal proceedings at the Varick Street Immigration Court. NYIFUP provides universal representation regardless of income, eligibility for relief, or criminal record, and it is the first program of its kind in the nation. To learn more about this program, visit our project page.