Header Image Mobile Header Image

Creating Deportation Defense

Creating a First-in-the-Nation Deportation Defense Program

Each year, 2,450 New York State residents—among them mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, business owners and workers—find themselves detained and at risk of deportation without the benefit of legal representation.  For these New Yorkers, there is no right to counsel.  Instead, they face nearly insurmountable odds.  

As a 2011 report by the Study Group on Immigrant Representation convened by Judge Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals revealed, only 3% of those in this situation will prevail.  However, when such individuals are...

Each year, 2,450 New York State residents—among them mothers and fathers, friends and neighbors, business owners and workers—find themselves detained and at risk of deportation without the benefit of legal representation.  For these New Yorkers, there is no right to counsel.  Instead, they face nearly insurmountable odds.  

As a 2011 report by the Study Group on Immigrant Representation convened by Judge Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals revealed, only 3% of those in this situation will prevail.  However, when such individuals are able to access legal representation, their chances of success increase by as much as 1000%.

Access to counsel makes a huge difference for these New Yorkers, as well as their family members.    These processes can have particularly devastating impacts on children.  An alarming 2,000 New York City area children each year experience the trauma of having a parent arrested, detained and facing deportation.  And where no parent remains, U.S. citizen children must be placed in foster care at a cost of nearly $36,000 per child per year.

To keep immigrant families together, the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigration Rights, have spearheaded advocacy for the creation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), a statewide system of universal representation for individuals who are detained and at risk of deportation, with critical legal and research support from the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at Cardozo School of Law and the Vera Institute of Justice. In June 2013, the New York City Council took an important leadership step, providing $500,000 for a one-year, pilot program. The pilot program was extremely successful, providing counsel for nearly 200 New Yorkers at Varick Street jail who were unable to afford legal services.

In acknowledgement of the success of the NYIFUP pilot, in the summer of 2014 the City Council provided $4.9 million to scale up the program to provide counsel to all New Yorkers in immigration detention. This incredible victory will mean that hundreds of immigrant families are able to access the services they need to ensure a fair day in court and a chance to stay together.

The disastrous impacts of detention and deportation on immigrant families are not limited to New York alone. Families across the country have been forced to deal with the emotional and financial effects of extended separation from loved ones. In cities and states across the country with large and growing immigrant populations, there is an appetite for initiatives like NYIFUP that recognize the many contributions newly-arrived residents make and the importance of keeping them grounded in the communities they call home. CPD is continuing to work with partners to extend NYIFUP throughout New York State and to work to replicate the model nationwide.

News

An estimated 1,500 demonstrators will hit the streets of Downtown Pittsburgh this afternoon —...

07/8/2016 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The message was often strident, but the mood of Friday afternoon’s “Still We Rise” march was...

07/6/2016 | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

New York Times - June 26,...

06/25/2014

More

facts & figures

New York State employers pay an estimated $9.1 million in turnover-related costs annually as they are forced to replace detained or deported employees. NYIFUP would save employers $4 million in such costs each year.

The detention or deportation of a parent makes it difficult for some students to complete school, limiting their long-term earning potential, increasing reliance on public health insurance programs and decreasing tax revenues. Over 10 years of the NYIFUP program, this would translate into $3.1 million in annualized costs to the state each year. NYIFUP...

New York State employers pay an estimated $9.1 million in turnover-related costs annually as they are forced to replace detained or deported employees. NYIFUP would save employers $4 million in such costs each year.

The detention or deportation of a parent makes it difficult for some students to complete school, limiting their long-term earning potential, increasing reliance on public health insurance programs and decreasing tax revenues. Over 10 years of the NYIFUP program, this would translate into $3.1 million in annualized costs to the state each year. NYIFUP would save New York over $1.3 million in such costs each year.

Detentions and deportations cost New York’s State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) about $685,000 each year. NYIFUP would save the state over $310,000 per year in such costs.

The state pays over $562,000 a year to provide foster care for the children of detained or deported New Yorkers. NYIFUP would reduce these costs by over $263,000 each year.

media