NEW REPORT: Lawyers Assess the Impact of Immigration Detention on New Yorkers

March 11th, 2019

NEW YORK, NY – Today, the Immigrant Advocates Response Collaborative (I-ARC) released a new report, Behind Bars in the Empire State: An Assessment of the Immigration Detention of New Yorkers, that provides a comprehensive look at immigration detention across New York state. The report pays special attention to the use of civil immigration detention in the enforcement of immigration laws, highlighting the high demand for legal assistance and resources under the current political climate.

Behind Bars in the Empire State aggregates all available information on the history of immigration detention in New York, the number and types of facilities for use by ICE to detain New Yorkers, and in-depth facts on the facilities where immigrants are actually being detained in and around New York State. The report also includes first-person testimonials of the impact ICE’s use of detention has on our immigrant neighbors and resources for advocates looking to challenge ICE’s detention practices.

“As more and more immigrant New Yorkers are detained as a result of changing federal policy, it is important to understand the facts and the lasting impact it can have. The purpose of Behind Bars in The Empire State is to assist and inform government leaders, advocates, academics, and community members, as they work to address the damages inflicted on our communities by prolonged immigration detention,” said Camille Mackler, Director of Immigration Legal Policy at the New York Immigration Coalition.

“Brooklyn Law School’s Safe Harbor Project is honored to have contributed to Behind Bars in The Empire State. We hope that this report illuminates the tremendous damage that immigration detention of immigrant New Yorkers has caused them, their families, and our communities,” said Carmen Maria Rey, Assistant Professor of Clinical Law at Brooklyn Law School.

“It is essential that elected officials and the public be better informed about ICE detention in New York, in order for us to make smart decisions to protect our immigrant communities from ICE overreach.  This report represents a step toward achieving that goal. I'm grateful to my colleagues on I-ARC who committed time and resources to this important project,” said Karin Anderson Ponzer, Esq. Ph.D., Director of Legal Services at Neighbors Link Community Law Practice.


I-ARC is a collaborative of over 80 immigration, legal, nonprofit services around New York State. I-ARC was formed in the wake of the legal effort at JFK airport to help immigration lawyers around New York State better collaborate and share materials and resources to ensure all immigrant New Yorkers have access to due process and access to justice.