April 16, 2017
By Jerry Levine, LaborPress Albany
Albany, NY – Independent Democratic Conference (IDC) Senate colleagues have announced they helped make the largest commitment to immigrant legal aid in New York State history.
The NYS 2017-2018 budget includes $10 million. IDC members worked closely with Gov. Cuomo to secure the money. Immigrant and legal defense groups praised the IDC for their steadfast commitment to immigrant rights.
“Now more than ever, immigrant families in New York are uneasy about the actions being taken at the federal level and the fear of deportation or losing a family member to deportation is indescribable. Those facing immigration actions have an exponentially higher chance of winning their cases when they have legal representation. That’s why the IDC worked to secure this critical funding to ensure that across the state public defenders are available for those in deportation court,” said Senator Diane Savino.
The funds will be awarded to immigrant legal services groups through the state’s Office of New Americans and will be used for immigrant defense services to prevent deportation, green card application processing, job assistance and other endeavors to advance immigrant rights
“Our nation has a history of benefiting from the genius of immigrants – their creativity, their talents, and their contributions to our communities make us all immeasurably richer. We must be prepared to defend our immigrant communities from those who seek to build walls instead of bridges. For each unjust misstep, for each affront to our inclusive values, we must be prepared to manifest our core beliefs. That’s why this $10 million investment in immigrant legal services is so important. It comes at a moment when New Yorkers are looking to us for reassurance that Lady Liberty’s torch will not dim. I am proud to stand with my colleagues, uphold these values, and dedicate the resources to help our immigrant friends and neighbors,” said Senator Jesse Hamilton.