News & Resources

Federal Judge Rules ICE Cannot Make Courthouse Arrests in New York

For Immediate Release June 10, 2020 For more information contact: Rachel Cohen, [email protected], Immigrant Defense Project Federal Judge Rules ICE Cannot Make Courthouse Arrests in New York New York Attorney General Leticia James and Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez Win Summary Judgment: ICE Cannot Use Courts to Trap Immigrant New Yorkers NEW YORK—The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) applauded the federal … Read more »

COVID-19 Resources

In response to the threat of COVID-19, IDP has created several new resources for lawyers, immigrants, advocates, and community members. These resources, including template motions for redetermination and a handout on how to protect your community during COVID-19, are available below, along with a compilation of non-IDP resources that we’ve come across in the last several weeks and thought were … Read more »

Thoughts on Ten Years of Effectuating the Promise of Padilla v Kentucky

By Labe Richman  A decade ago, when Justice Stevens issued his seminal decision in Padilla v. Kentucky, the obvious was finally acknowledged by the Supreme Court – that non-citizen defendants had the right to know the immigration consequences of their pleas of guilty.  Many members of the community may not have understood the unfair and tragic situation that existed before. … Read more »

Padilla’s Tenth Anniversary: The Supreme Court’s Limited Step Triggers Awareness and a National Movement to Combat Collateral Consequences

By Norman Reimer  In reflecting on Padilla v. Kentucky at ten years, it is clear that in one important sense it transformed defense practice. The fact that the Supreme Court has not to date fully confronted the constitutional implications of the myriad collateral consequences that flow from a criminal conviction beyond immigration consequences means that Padilla remains somewhat of an … Read more »

Padilla v. Kentucky: How Analytical Frameworks Change at the Supreme Court and Implications for Day to Day Immigration Practice

Nancy Morawetz The tenth anniversary of the landmark Padilla v. Kentucky decision is an opportunity to reflect on the central role of the Supreme Court on day-to-day lawyering on behalf of immigrants.  Padilla is the keystone of representation for immigrants charged with crimes – the case that makes clear that immigration and criminal consequences cannot be disentangled.  Meanwhile, other cases … Read more »

Looking back ten years later at the road to Padilla v Kentucky

by Manny Vargas  Ten years ago, the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) awaited the Supreme Court’s decision in Padilla v. Kentucky with some trepidation. IDP and others who cared about the plight of immigrants facing criminal charges without correct (or any) advice about the immigration law implications feared that the Supreme Court might say “tough luck” and proclaim that the Constitution … Read more »

Recognizing the Ten Year Anniversary of Padilla v. Kentucky

Why We Need to Remember Padilla v. Kentucky This Week As we join with allies across the country during the current COVID-19 public health crisis, demanding the release of incarcerated people as a moral imperative, this week we also recognize the ten year anniversary of Padilla v. Kentucky. The case was a landmark decision that has had a profound impact … Read more »

Advising Clients about Pleas to N.Y.C. Admin Code 10-179

Advising Non-U.S. Citizen Clients about Pleas to N.Y.C. Admin Code 10-179 in Summons Court New York City Summons Court cases often conclude with New Yorkers pleading to a non-criminal violation and paying a fine. Upon first impression, cases concluding with a non-criminal violation appear inconsequential. However, even pleas to non-criminal violations taken in Summons Court can lead to devastating consequences … Read more »

New York Laws on Marijuana Decriminalization

On August 28, 2019, the marijuana decriminalization and expungement bill that passed in New York State earlier this year went into effect. Despite the changes to the law, people can still be arrested, charged, and fined for possessing a small amount of marijuana and these incidents may still lead to devastating immigration consequences. To try to dispel misconceptions and clarify … Read more »

Know Your Rights!

In response to the ongoing threat of ICE’s mass raid and deportation operations, IDP has compiled all of our Know Your Rights resources in one easily accessible place. Rapid Response Know Your Rights Flyer (2 pages, available in 16 languages) Know Your Rights Infographics (set of 6, available in English and Spanish) Common ICE Ruses Infographics (set of 2, available in English … Read more »

Guide for Criminal Defense Counsel: Representing Clients Detained by ICE

The Immigrant Defense Project and Make the Road New York have created a guide for criminal defense attorneys who represent clients who are or may be detained by ICE. This guide, last updated in June 2019, provides information to help criminal defense attorneys: Identify strategies and arguments for ensuring fair access to the court for your client in ICE custody; … Read more »


In the Fall of 2018, IDP launched Pardon: the Immigrant Clemency Project, an initiative that aims to protect immigrants and to push back against policies that disempower and marginalize people with criminal histories. Under the Trump administration, there are currently thousands of immigrants at risk of deportation because of past criminal convictions. For many individuals, a pardon is their only protection … Read more »

One Day to Protect New Yorkers

On April 1, 2019, the One Day to Protect New Yorkers Act became law in New York as part of the New York State budget. By passing this law, New York has taken a firm stand against the devastation caused by ICE’s cruel and inhumane detention and deportation system. Read the press release here. IDP has already released several materials … Read more »

Join IDP and JusticeAid in Washington D.C. this April!

IDP is joining forces with JusticeAid to work towards ending the vilification of immigrants and the deep harm that the violence of detention and deportation is causing to our communities. JusticeAid is throwing a benefit concert with Los Lobos in support of IDP, accompanied by a public forum the preceding evening. Join us in Washington D.C. on April 15 and 16! Music benefit … Read more »

Effective Marijuana Reform: Challenging the Constitutionality of Convictions After Automatic Expungement

Marie Mark, Supervising Attorney, Padilla Support Center Immigrant Defense Project The Immigrant Defense Project has been working as part of the Start SMART New York coalition to ensure that marijuana legalization benefits the communities most impacted by the war on drugs, including immigrants. Thousands of immigrants are deported because of draconian drug prohibition laws at the state and federal level. New … Read more »

Sick of Trump’s demonizing rhetoric about immigrants during the #shutdown fight but not sure what to read? Here’s a primer for understanding the issues and fighting back!

Alisa Wellek, Executive Director Immigrant Defense Project In the midst of Trump’s government shutdown, he has doubled down on the hateful rhetoric he has used from the start of his presidential campaign, in which the inherent “criminality” of immigrants played a central role in justifying a broad anti-immigrant agenda. We are inspired by those who are calling Trump’s demands out … Read more »

“Justice” Kavanaugh’s First Month on the Supreme Court Bench Did Not Bode Well for the Rights of Immigrants and the Criminally Accused

Manny Vargas, Senior Counsel Immigrant Defense Project Immigrants and the criminally accused did not have to wait long to get first indications of whether they could hope for justice from the Supreme Court’s newest member – Brett Kavanaugh. During his first month on the bench, Kavanaugh heard argument in three cases in which the Court’s decisions could have a significant impact … Read more »

Briefs and Decisions

Immigration Judge and Board of Immigration Appeals decisions concerning overbreadth in New York firearms cases — NYPL Article 265, realistic probability, antique firearms IJ Maria Lurye decision, New York Immigration Court, dated Oct. 15, 2018 IJ Terry A. Bain decision, New York Immigration Court, dated June 26, 2018 Unpublished decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals, dated Sept. 9, 2019 Amicus Brief … Read more »