News & Resources

Best Practices Guide to Screening for Immigration Consequences In New York Family Court, with Supporting Materials

The best practices guide and supporting materials below are designed to help family court counsel identify when to work with an immigration attorney in a client’s case and navigate the complexities of incorporating immigration concerns into their representation. Actions taken in family court, such as admissions to non-citizen status, findings that the respondent has violated an order of protection, or … Read more »

Legal Analysis of New DHS Courthouse Arrest Policy (April 2021)

In April of 2021, DHS issued a revised courthouse arrest policy clarifying its position on when ICE and CBP officials can conduct civil immigration arrests in or near courthouses. For a brief explanation and analysis of the memorandum, please see IDP’s Legal Analysis of April 27, 2021 DHS Memorandum “Civil Immigration Enforcement Actions in or near Courthouses.”

CLE Training: Steps to Analyze the Immigration Impact of Criminal Contact and Convictions for Immigrant Clients

What you will learn: Contact with the criminal legal system can create unique risks and complications for an immigrant client. The Immigrant Defense Project Helpline provides individualized analysis of the effect of any contact with the criminal legal system on a person’s immigration status and gives clear, accurate, individualized advice to legal service providers by serving as “crim-imm” experts. This … Read more »

Legal Service Provider CLEs – Spring 2021 Series

Description IDP is offering a free online training series in the months of May and June. The goal of this series is to train immigration attorneys and advocates, DOJ-accredited representatives, and support staff on issues at the intersection of criminal law and immigration law. The series will cover issues related to advising clients who have had contact with the criminal … Read more »

Civil Rights Groups, Lawmakers Call On NYC And NY State To ‘Ban The Scan’, Outlaw Facial Recognition

New York, NY – On Tuesday, January 26,, Amnesty International, the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project (S.T.O.P.), New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, Legal Aid Society, National Action Network, Warriors In The Garden, Immigrant Defense Project, New York Civil Liberties Union, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other advocates held an online press conference calling … Read more »

Immigrant Defense Project and the ICE Out of Courts Coalition Celebrate Signing of Protect Our Courts Act

For Immediate Release December 15, 2020 Immigrant Defense Project and the ICE Out of Courts Coalition Celebrate Signing of Protect Our Courts Act  With Governor’s Signature, New Law Prohibits ICE From Using Courts to Trap Immigrant New Yorkers NEW YORK— With Governor’s Cuomo signing the Protect Our Courts Act (S425/A2176) into law today, New York has taken a momentous step … Read more »

Ten years later, fulfilling the promise of Padilla v. Kentucky

by Manny Vargas As COVID-19 hit New York and the nation in March, an important immigrant rights’ anniversary date passed largely unnoticed – the tenth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s March 31, 2010 decision in Padilla v. Kentucky. For immigrants, Padilla represented a groundbreaking recognition by the highest Court in the country that for noncitizens, the constitutional right to … Read more »

Detention Litigation

Background IDP engages in litigation efforts to challenge the unjust detention of immigrants. Our ongoing work primarily focuses on habeas corpus petitions before the federal courts and bond litigation before immigration courts. Specifically, IDP has supported legal challenges to mandatory detention based on previous criminal convictions or classification as an “arriving alien,” detention pending a final order of removal where … Read more »

Criminal Process and Procedure

Background IDP engages in strategic litigation before both federal and New York State courts to ensure full and fair proceedings for noncitizen defendants facing criminal charges. Since its inception, IDP has worked to establish all immigrants’ constitutional rights before the criminal courts, including the right to effective assistance of counsel and the right to appeal convictions. IDP continues to build … Read more »

“Particularly Serious Crimes”

Background The United States has long offered protected status to those fleeing persecution abroad in the form of Asylum and Withholding of Removal. Under its obligations under the U.N. Refugee Convention to which the U.S. is a party, only the most serious criminal convictions that present actual danger to the community in the United States can bar a person from … Read more »

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude

Background IDP supports litigants in cases addressing whether certain offenses are categorically deemed “crimes involving moral turpitude” under immigration law, advocating for the strict application of the categorical approach. Practice Advisories Practice Advisory: Litigating CIMT Theft Removal Charges and Adjudicative Retroactivity in the Second Circuit After Obeya v. Sessions (April 18, 2018, by IDP) Addendum: Exploring Applications of the Anti-Retroactivity Holding of Obeya … Read more »

Records of Conviction and the Burden of Proof

Background IDP is engaged in litigation before the federal courts and BIA challenging government efforts to bar noncitizens from establishing eligibility for relief from removal or eligibility for lawful status solely because a “record of conviction” is merely ambiguous as to whether the conviction is for a disqualifying offense under immigration law. Under the government’s view, noncitizens could be barred … Read more »


Background IDP participates in litigation efforts to limit retroactive application of new laws and policies that restrict the rights of immigrants. For example, IDP has worked to prevent retroactive application of certain provisions of the 1996 laws, such as the repeal of former 212(c) relief and restrictions on re-entry for lawful permanent residents. Practice Advisories Matter of Abdelghany: Implications for … Read more »

Finality of Convictions

Background IDP engages in strategic litigation before the immigration agencies and the federal courts in support of the conviction “finality rule,” which is the longstanding rule that a criminal conviction may not trigger certain immigration consequences unless all direct appeals of right have been exhausted or waived.  Practice Advisories The Conviction Finality Requirement in Light of Matter of J.M. Acosta: The Law … Read more »

Drug Offenses

Background The War on Drugs has long impacted immigrant communities. In 1996, Congress enacted legislation hugely expanding the numbers of immigrants subject to mandatory detention, deportation, and denial of lawful status based on state drug offenses. Successive administrations have sought to apply the drug provisions of immigration laws extremely aggressively.  IDP works with litigants before the federal courts and immigration … Read more »

Using and Defending the Categorical Approach

Background IDP engages in litigation to defend the application of the “categorical approach” to safeguard fairness in immigration adjudications. Under the immigration laws, a noncitizen generally is not subject to negative immigration consequences, including removal, based on a criminal conviction unless that conviction fits categorically within one of the INA’s criminal removal grounds.  The categorical approach requires adjudicators to determine whether … Read more »

BREAKING: Judge Stops Trump Administration Efforts to Bar More from Asylum

For Immediate Release November 19, 2020 BREAKING: Judge Stops Trump Administration Efforts to Bar More from Asylum Just One Day Before They Were Slated to Go Into Effect, Federal Judge Enjoins Broad Rules That Would Have Vastly Expanded Categorical Bars to Asylum New York/Washington/San Francisco – On Thursday, a federal judge in the Northern District of California issued a nationwide … Read more »

ICE Policing

Background In connection with our work on Community Defense from ICE Raids and Deportation, IDP engages in litigation efforts to uncover and challenge immigration policing practices. IDP monitors ICE raids in the New York City area and supports immigrants who seek to challenge their arrests before the federal courts and immigration agencies. IDP also supports systemic litigation before the federal … Read more »