Immigrant Advocates Applaud Gov. Cuomo for his Continued Support of the Liberty Defense Project In 2021 State of the State

Albany, NY—Today, immigrant advocates thanked Governor Andrew Cuomo for his recognition of the continued need for immigration legal services funding. While recognizing the importance of fully-funded immigration legal services, the New York Immigration Coalition calls for a more ambitious state-wide agenda.  Specifically, the NYIC is demanding a series of policies that will protect and empower immigrants and solidify New York State’s reputation as a bulwark against regressive federal policies that may take years to undo, as well as ensures recovery and relief for every New Yorker. The New York Immigration Coalition calls for:

  • $25 million to fully fund New York’s immigration legal services
  • A permanent fund for undocumented workers excluded from Federal relief
  • Coverage4All: Provides state-funded health insurance coverage for the 400,000 undocumented New Yorkers who currently do not qualify for any federal- or state-funded comprehensive coverage.
  • NY4All: Creates protections for immigrant New Yorkers by placing strict limits on how law enforcement officers, probation officers, and other state, city, town, or village employees may share confidential information about New Yorkers with immigration enforcement authorities.

Murad Awawdeh and Rovika Rajkishun, Interim Co-Executive Directors of the New York Immigration Coalition, issued the following statement.

“By committing to funding legal services for immigrant New Yorkers, the Governor is taking a crucial first step in ensuring equity in our judicial system in the face of President Trump’s continued legacy on immigration. But we need to go further to allow immigrants to thrive in New York State. Immigrants have been on the pandemic's frontlines since its start and continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of the health and economic impacts of COVID-19. It’s long past time for Albany to step up and ensure that every New Yorker has a chance at recovery. We applaud Governor Cuomo for recognizing the importance of legal services funding to keep our families together. Still, we now need our leaders to implement a more ambitious plan that protects and empowers immigrants into the future.”