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State expands legal services for the undocumented

Feb 18, 2019 1:15 pm
Mallory Moench is reporting for the Times Union the state announced Feb. 15, it will renew its two-year contract with the Vera Institute for Justice to continue representing detained immigrants facing deportation who cannot afford a lawyer. Under the program, immigrants that income qualify are able to get an attorney. The program is also expanding this year to provide representation to immigrants detained under prior deportation orders. In December, the Vera Institute said it needed $4.55 million to continue its work in 2019. New York is the first and only state in the nation to provide representation to all detained impoverished immigrants. In Batavia Federal Detention Facility near Buffalo, more than one in three clients in the program were released in less than a year, from 2017 to 2018. Immigration attorneys applaud the project but say it stops short of providing legal aid for immigrants who are not facing deportation or are not detained. The Vera Institute said nearly 19,000 immigrants in New York are not detained but facing deportation without counsel. Read the full story in the Times Union.