The Staten Island Advance: Legal Aid Society Meeting With Staten Islanders Detained In ICE Immigration Raids

The Staten Island Advance interviewed Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice, on Legal Aid’s response to Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids this past weekend, namely the 24-hour hotline established Sunday and our outreach to those individuals directly affected by the raids.

The Staten Island Advance
Legal Aid Society meeting with Staten Islanders detained in ICE immigration raids
By Kyle Lawson
February 13, 2017

While defense attorneys were on route Monday to consult immigrants recently detained under federal law, an emergency hotline established by the Legal Aid Society was bombarded with calls from panicked residents.

The nearly 40 foreign nationals reportedly arrested last week in the New York City area are being held at Bergen County Jail or Hudson County Jail in New Jersey, or Orange County Jail in New York, said Adriene Holder, attorney-in-charge of civil practice for the Legal Aid Society.

Holder said employees manning the 24-hour hotline established Sunday have taken calls from the New York City area and beyond, in part, concerning expired VISAs and deportation orders.

"What we're getting is a bunch of people calling in who are hysterical," she said. "They are so fearful now, thinking if they go anywhere in the city they might get picked up."

Five Mexican immigrants were arrested outside their home or in front of the Richmond County Courthouse last week; four of them have children who are U.S. citizens, said Daniel Altschuler, a community organizer with Make The Road New York.

Two of the men, who were arrested Saturday, likely will be represented by the Legal Aid Society, Holder said. The others will be represented by similar legal organizations in the city.

Holder said she's concerned that executive orders signed by Trump, both now and in the future, will make it harder for attorneys to defend clients from convictions and ultimately deportation based on factors such as clients' ties to the community and family members who are U.S. citizens.