While legal representation is a cornerstone of our democracy, it is not a guaranteed right for immigrants. When facing deportation proceedings, immigrants must either hire a private attorney, find a nonprofit able to help, or be forced to represent themselves. Legal services have a significant impact on the outcome of deportation proceedings for immigrants—78 percent of immigrants with lawyers win their cases, while only 15 percent of immigrants without representation are successful in their cases.
It is imperative that New York State fully fund legal services to help promote safety and security for immigrant communities. Existing resources for affordable legal services are scarce, particularly outside of New York City, where two-thirds of all providers are located. Furthermore, most immigration cases take several years to resolve, making additional funding necessary to adequately meet the needs of immigrant communities.
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