Advocates Cheer Assembly Passage of Fair Courts for Immigrant New Yorkers

The Fair Courts for Immigrant New Yorkers Act Would Strengthen Immigrants’ Constitutional Right to Receive Legal Advice in Criminal Court

May 17, 2023

ALBANY, NY— Advocates applauded the Assembly’s passage today of the Fair Courts for Immigrant New Yorkers Act, a critical bill in Albany that will ensure that immigrant New Yorkers facing criminal charges get a clear notification that there could be an immigration impact and be alerted to get the advice they are entitled to from their attorneys. 

The bill moved out of the Senate Codes Committee earlier this month and we now call on the Senate to hold a floor vote to pass the bill and for Governor Hochul to sign it into law. The bill passed both houses of the legislature last year but was undermined by the Governor’s veto. 

The impact to immigrants who have contact with the criminal legal system can be severe and life-changing. While immigrants facing criminal charges have a constitutional right to receive immigration advice, these protections are lacking for many immigrant New Yorkers. The bill would make these critical protections meaningful for all immigrant New Yorkers and create accountability mechanisms where immigrants’ rights are violated. 

We thank the sponsors Assemblymember Catalina Cruz and Senator Brian Kavanagh for championing this important and common sense legislation to protect immigrant New Yorkers’ due process rights and offer a remedy when those rights are violated. Advocates across the state are eager to see the bill pass the Senate and the Governor sign it into law.

“So many New Yorkers have no idea that taking a plea in criminal court can put them at risk of detention, deportation, and ineligibility for U.S. citizenship. Ultimately, this bill is about ensuring that immigrants’ constitutional right to receive immigration advice is made meaningful by proper and accurate notification by judges. This common-sense fix will prevent wrongful deportations. We look forward to passage in the Senate and signature by the Governor,” said Yasmine Farhang, Director of Advocacy at the Immigrant Defense Project.

To download the press release, click here.