New York, NY—The New York State Legislature and Governor Hochul are poised to enact a $229 billion State budget for FY 2024, including a historic $63 million dollar investment in the Office of New Americans for legal and essential services.
Murad Awawdeh, Executive Director, New York Immigration Coalition:
“Today’s budget is an important step forward to improve the well-being of New York’s immigrant communities, but still much more is needed to ensure that all New Yorkers have equal opportunity and access to the services and support they need to raise families and thrive in New York.
“We thank Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Speaker Carl Heastie and state lawmakers for an historic investment of $63 million for immigration legal and essential services in the State budget. Given the current urgency, we call on New York State to allocate the largest portion of that funding towards meeting the critical legal services needs of immigrant New Yorkers. While this investment is crucial, Governor Hochul and state legislators must prioritize the passage of the Access to Representation Act this legislative session. This will guarantee the right to legal representation in immigration court, and ensure the long-term stability of and access to these life-saving services for all, regardless of wealth.
“While this country and state is facing a massive affordability crisis, the expansion of the Empire State Child Credit to families with children under four years of age will put cash in the hands of low-income and immigrant families who need it the most. We thank our elected leadership for ending the arbitrary exclusion of these families from this program and look forward to working with them to make the future expansion of the Working Families Tax Credit a reality.
“After three years of a global pandemic, Governor Hochul has once again denied immigrant New Yorkers access to the comprehensive healthcare that so many of us take for granted – and all of us desperately need – when she failed to include Coverage for All in the NYS budget. We are deeply disappointed by the Governor’s disregard for the health of immigrant New Yorkers, but we will continue to fight alongside our State elected leadership, who included it in their budget proposals, to ensure that all New Yorkers are guaranteed access to the critical care they deserve and need.
“We look forward to more progress in the rest of this year’s legislative session, to create a New York where all people, irrespective of wealth or immigration status, can live free and open lives across New York State.”