In the News

Council defies de Blasio on immigrant representation (Crain’s New York Business)

Crain’s New York Business, June 6, 2017

Council defies de Blasio on immigrant representation

“The City Council on Tuesday moved to prevent deportations of immigrants whose criminal convictions disqualify them from city funding in the eyes of Mayor Bill de Blasio. Led by Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, lawmakers included in the city’s 2018 budget a provision that overrides restrictions on legal-services funding that Mayor Bill de Blasio sought to impose. Unlike criminal court defendants, people facing deportation in immigration court are not guaranteed lawyers. But the city has funded such legal services since 2013….Cardozo School of Law Professor Peter Markowitz, an immigration law expert who chaired the study that led to the formation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, expects that the budget will protect his program. ‘The budget is law just like any other law and the mayor is bound to implement it consistent with the language and intent of the council,’ he said via email. ‘More importantly, I would hope that the mayor would be wise enough not to try to fundamentally alter an enormously successful program and undermining the city’s commitment to due process in the face of the unanimous pleading of over 100 community-based organizations, the majority of the New York City Council, the former Chief Judge of the State of New York, the former chief immigration judge, and the president of the New York City Bar Association, who have all called for the continuation of universal representation for detained immigrants in New York City.'”

Read more.