The pandemic has disrupted virtually every aspect of the U.S. immigration system, from visa and asylum applications to the suspension of many immigration court hearings due to the complications imposed on normal legal proceedings.
To support and uplift immigrant New Yorkers, the majority of whom work essential jobs and contribute to the local economy, the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation granted $300,000 to Immigrant Justice Corps for its Access to Counsel for Low-Income Immigrants program.
Unlike criminal and family court proceedings, immigrants facing deportation in immigration court do not have a right to counsel if they cannot afford one. Immigrant Justice Corps fellows plan on tackling this situation head on by providing critical free legal counsel and representation to nearly 200 low-income immigrants in NYC and Albany.
Immigrant Justice Corps Justice Fellows represent immigrants in complex matters, including deportation defense; asylum; and affirmative petitions for crime, domestic violence, and trafficking victims. Since 2014, IJC Fellows have served more than 80,000 immigrants and their families with a success rate of 93%. Available data demonstrates that quality legal counsel reduces the risk of deportation and raises success rates from 13% to 74%.
Since March 2020, immigrants facing deportation have made up the majority of the State’s essential workforce, showing up in-person every day to support their families. More than ever, immigrant and migrant New Yorkers warrant the right to free, high-quality legal representation.
To ensure that no New Yorker gets left behind on the road to recovery, we must raise awareness and effect change for New York’s resilient immigrant population. Learn more about Immigrant Justice Corps’ work here.