The Governor’s office in New York confirmed that they will create a legal help cell to help the immigrants who are unable to afford a lawyer for their legal proceedings against deportation. The office also added that they have included $10 million funds in their next year’s budget for this. Currently, the undocumented immigrants don’t have the right to continue legal processing at free of cost which is just opposite in the case of the USA citizens. This fund is known as the Liberty Defense Project and now is a part of the private-public partnership with the Ford Foundation and Carnegie Corporation. As per the latest data, both are non-profit companies and have gathered $1.5 million fund, which results in a total fund of $11.5 million. During the initial announcement of the program, Mr Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York said that currently it is very difficult to find the every New Yorkers having full access to their legal rights while the project will have working support from 182 different groups of advocates who will provide an advocate to an immigrant undergoing through some legal process. Oren Root, director of a non-profit policy group in the New York said that to become eligible for this program an immigrant must possess an income which is 200% below the poverty line fixed by the Federal government and must not be accompanied by a lawyer. Mr. Root confirmed that his institute is also going to receive a fund of $4 million, which will enable them to help detained immigrants in New York. Previously, the institute received $650,000 fund for the same cause from the project of Immigrant Family Reunification ran by the city council of New York. He also added that since 2013 approximately 30% people have become eligible to stay in the state among all the immigrants who managed to find a lawyer from them through this reunification project. According to the Syracuse University’s database report known as the TRAC, almost 4,400 immigrants were extracted from the country in 2016 after reaching to the court. The report also stated that 98.5% cases result in deportation for the immigrants without any lawyer while the percentage dropped to 73.7% when there was a lawyer. There are also other groups which will receive funds under this project like; the New York Immigration Coalition, the Hispanic Federation, etc. while Mr. Choi mentioned that plan for a $10 million fund is a good step to help immigrants who face deportation just by not having an advocate on their side.
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