Cristal Morris with her 4-year-old daughter, Joviana, on Tuesday. If a proposal by Mayor Bill de Blasio had been in force when Ms. Morris was jailed for drug possession, the city would not have paid for a lawyer to fight her potential deportation. Photo Credit: Todd Heisler/The New York Times

All Immigrants Should Be Given Lawyers, Some City Council Members Say

Article in The New York Times
1 June, 2017

Cities have the capacity to implement great inclusive policies.

“On Wednesday, 27 of the 51 Council members signed a letter that was delivered electronically to Mr. de Blasio, urging him to provide legal help without restrictions. That is the public defender model currently used by the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, a model studied nationally that since 2013 has provided services primarily for indigent immigrants who have been detained.

“We want to step away from rhetoric that one person is more deserving than another in representation,” City Councilman Carlos Menchaca, who represents Brooklyn and is the lead signatory, said in an interview on Monday.

“Ultimately, the immigration courts, not New York City, will decide who can stay and who must leave, but we can and should ensure that all of them are afforded their fair day in court.”

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