July 31, the Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office and the City Council have finally found a solution about budget organization for immigration-related legal services for undocumented immigrants convicted of crimes and waiting removal from the U.S.
The thing is, City Council was against allot money from city budget to benefit immigrants convicted of one of 170 serious crimes, so they found a solution through private donors who will contribute $250,000 earmarked for their defense.
Thus, the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project will continue its work, providing free service. In priority will be those immigrants who have not been convicted before.
The service supplied by Brooklyn Defender Services, The Bronx Defenders and Legal Aid received support in $16.4 million from the mayor’s office and $10 million from the City Council.
To this program were also included multiple foundations, some money was provided by anonymous donors.
The great advantage for the Family Unity program “is rooted in unrestricted access,” said Adriene Holder, head of the Legal Aid Society’s Civil Practice. “Now that the issue of a criminal carve-out has been resolved, we look forward to strengthening our efforts defending New Yorkers from unjust detention and deportation.”
“Providing legal representation to those in immigration court who would otherwise face a judge without a lawyer makes a real difference in New Yorkers’ lives,” added spokeswoman for the mayor, Freddi Goldstein.