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New York City Pilots First-in-the-Nation Fund for Immigrant Deportation Defense

Earlier this week, the New York City Council committed $500,000 to pilot a universal deportation defense system for immigrant New Yorkers who are facing removal and cannot afford a lawyer. The funding commitment is a direct response to advocacy by CPD and our partners, the Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights and the Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, as part of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (“NYIFUP”) – a campaign to guarantee counsel for immigrants facing deportation statewide. This funding is a critical first step for NYIFUP's long-term success providing free counsel to individuals at risk of deportation across New York State. It also makes New York City the first place in the country to commit to providing counsel to immigrants facing deportation.


We are optimistic that this initial grant will help unlock funds from other sources—either to expand the pilot’s coverage or to implement the full system further down the line. We can't wait to share what we learn through this pilot project and make the case for a larger program.