Approved Spending Plan Includes Funding for Immigrant and Refugee Communities

Monies will be used to provide legal services, help immigrants apply for citizenship, job training

$3 million will be granted to refugee resettlement agencies
April 11, 2017

Queens, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows) announced that the state budget includes new funding to expand immigrant legal defense services and support indigent legal services. The state budget includes a grant of $4 million to significantly expand the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, a public defense program for immigrants facing deportation. The budget also includes $3 million for refugee resettlement agencies across the state and additional funding to support the New York State Defenders Association.

“Through this significant investment to assist those applying for citizenship or in need of legal services, we are proving that Queens stands with its immigrant communities,” said Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. “This new funding will help New York live up to the promise of fair and effective representation for defendants unable to afford counsel and help to ensure that these critical services are provided consistently.”

This funding will help immigrant New Yorkers to fairly and effectively defend themselves with the help of qualified, experienced immigration counsel. The funds will be awarded to immigrant legal services groups through the state’s Office of New Americans and will be used for immigrant defense services to prevent deportation, green card application processing, job assistance and other endeavors to advance immigrant rights.

Another funding stream provides for state investment in improving the quality of public defense services according to a plan developed by the Office of Indigent Legal Services. Over the next six years, the plan will ensure defendants have counsel at arraignment, establish new caseload standards so that attorneys can devote sufficient time and attention to each case, and ensure that attorneys receive effective training and have the necessary qualifications and experience. When fully implemented in 2023, the state's investment will increase funding to counties and New York City through the Office of Indigent Legal Services by approximately $250 million annually.