Statement from The Legal Aid Society on Mayor’s Recent Comments Regarding Funding for Immigrant Legal Services
FRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2017

Tina Luongo, Attorney-In-Charge of the Criminal Practice, and Adriene Holder, Attorney-In-Charge of the Civil Practice, released the following joint statement today responding to comments made by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week at his executive budget briefing, and this morning on The Brian Lehrer Show about restricting city-funded legal services for immigrants going through detention and deportation.

“Mayor de Blasio is not the court, judge and jury, and he shouldn’t decide who in this city gets due process and who doesn’t. The ideals by which the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project were created mirrored the constitutional principles of Gideon v. Wainwright, and the type of crime one is charged of is irrelevant - everyone has the right to an attorney.

To limit the program due to certain criminal convictions would deprive asylum seekers and lawful permanent residents of basic due process, be unjust and be contrary to the ideals of a sanctuary city. City Hall should live up to its promise of providing all immigrant New Yorkers due process. We hope that the Mayor corrects his position on this.”