New York, NY—Today, the New York State Senate and Assembly released their respective One House budgets with historic investments for immigrant New Yorkers. With the final budget dude in two weeks, we will work with our legislative partners to ensure that our communities’ priorities are realized.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“We thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins and Speaker Carl E. Heastie for their historic commitment of $77 million in immigration legal services. As New York contends with an unprecedented backlog of immigration proceedings, this investment will ensure immigrant New Yorkers are able to secure an attorney who can help them navigate a complex legal system to keep their families together and our communities strong. Moreover, the Senate and Assembly’s rejection of Governor Hochuls efforts to delay the expansion of Medicaid for undocumented seniors, and the creation of a State Funded Essential Plan to include all immigrant New Yorkers regardless of legal status, means that our workforce finally has a fighting chance to stay healthy. The One House Budgets also included crucial funding for the Office of New Americans to expand services that are essential for integration, like adult literacy and workforce development. Additional investments in refugee resettlement services will help our newest neighbors access the supports they need to build a new life here in New York. Crucially, both houses have also opened the door to negotiate on eviction prevention policies, and we look forward to having a fully funded Housing Access Voucher Program in the final budget. These investments show that the Senate and Assembly value the well-being of our immigrant neighbors, but our work isn’t done until Governor Hochul follows their lead by fully investing in immigrant New Yorkers and the support structures they need to thrive. That means including the full $120 million for legal services and the Office of New Americans, passage of the Access to Representation Act, and inclusion of all other vital resources from the One Houses in the final budget.”