City Council Speaker Corey Johnson (D-Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen) and City Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D-Red Hook, Sunset Park) announced an emergency allocation of $1.6 million towards the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) yesterday.
The NYIFUP is a government- funded legal representation program for immigrants – the first one to be enacted in the United States. The project had already secured $10 million in funding for the Fiscal Year 2019, but the Council decided that it needed extra funding to help a growing number of New Yorkers threatened with deportation. After Johnson and the Council reached an agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio, the allocation was approved.
“There is an urgent need to increase legal funding to help immigrants facing deportation,” said Johnson. “I am proud we were able to reach an agreement with Mayor Bill de Blasio to provide additional funds to NYIFUP. This emergency funding will help us provide more attorneys to New Yorkers in need. This is crucial right now as the ICE deportation machine has ramped up efforts to interfere with the necessary work NYIFUP is doing by pushing people through the system with zero regard for due process. I will continue to fight these un-American and horrific immigration policies. I want to commend the amazing and crucial work provided by the attorneys through NYIFUP.”
Menchaca noted that, while NYIFUP was originally enacted in 2014, it has proven to be more important than ever due to the xenophobic policies of the Trump administration. Under Trump, it has become increasingly common for immigrants to be kept in detention for months at a time, due to the lack of any prioritization scheme for enacting deportation.
“Since its establishment through Council funds in 2014, NYIFUP has served as a model of universal legal representation for immigrants facing deportation,” said Menchaca. “This injection of much needed funds ensures this can continue to be the case, even in the face of the Trump Administration’s mounting attacks on our immigrant communities. I thank the Mayor and the Speaker for their undaunted leadership, and look forward to continuing to partner in ensuring that all immigrants facing deportation can avail themselves of legal representation as a critical right.”
De Blasio concurred, remarking that contrary to what Trump’s rhetoric would lead one to believe, immigrants constitute an integral part of our society.
“While the Trump Administration continues to demonize immigrants, we know that their contributions are part of what makes our city great,” said de Blasio. “We are proud to help provide desperately needed legal representation in the face of punitive federal policies.”