IDP & Partners Cheer the Passage of Court Notification Bill

When signed by Gov. Hochul, the bill will strengthen immigrants’ constitutional right to receive legal advice in Criminal Court June 1, 2022 ALBANY, NY – New York is poised to strengthen much-needed constitutional protections for immigrants facing criminal charges after the State Assembly passed a bill mandating New Yorkers get notified of the possibility of immigration consequences. Advocates applauded the … Read more »

Advocates Call for Passage of Court Notification Bill after It Clears Assembly Codes Committee

Court Notifications Bill Would Strengthen Immigrants’ Constitutional Right to Receive Legal Advice in Criminal Court May 17, 2022 ALBANY, NY— Advocates applauded the advancement today of a critical bill in Albany that will ensure New Yorkers get accurate legal advice about immigration consequences if they are facing criminal charges. The New York State Assembly Codes Committee today passed the Court … Read more »

Immigrants Rights Advocates and Allies Demand NYS Legislature Keep NY Families Together After Passage of NYC Council Resolution

April 28, 2022 New York, NY-Today, the New York for All Coalition, allies, and immigrant New Yorkers celebrated the passage of a City Council resolution in support of the New York for All Act. The New York for All Act, currently pending in the New York State Legislature, would prohibit local law enforcement and state agencies from conspiring with Immigration … Read more »

IDP Celebrates House Passage of Legislation to End Federal Marijuana Prohibition

April 1, 2022 NEW YORK—Today the House of Representatives passed the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act, legislation that would deschedule and decriminalize cannabis, resentence federal convictions, and take a major step toward ending collateral consequences for cannabis-related activity, including immigration consequences. On the passage of the bill, Immigrant Defense Project’s (IDP) Supervising Attorney Benita Jain said, “For decades, … Read more »

IDP Statement: 170 Organizations Send Letter to DHS Secretary Defending Local Policies that Protect Immigrant Communities

March 29, 2022 Washington, D.C. – Scores of immigrant rights, community-based and legal advocacy organizations today sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas calling on him to reverse course on his attempts to undermine local policies that protect immigrant communities and urging him to follow through on promises to end existing programs that entangle localities with … Read more »

IDP Statement: NY Immigrant Rights Advocates Tell Gov Hochul: Don’t Roll Back Bail Reform

March 28, 2022 NEW YORK– Thirty immigrant rights community-based and legal advocacy organizations called on New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin not to proceed with their plan to rollback bail reform and warned that expanding criminalization and incarceration will increase harm to Black, Latinx and immigrant New Yorkers. The letter highlights the positive impacts that the … Read more »

Report: People Formerly Incarcerated in U.S. Immigration Detention Speak Out Against a System That Is Cruel by Design

            New report on world’s largest detention system shows policies designed to punish immigrants spread coronavirus and how  system degrades and dehumanizes people February 3, 2022 — ICE detention practices during the pandemic have shone a spotlight on the unacceptable conditions in the U.S.  immigration detention system. ICE practices were found to not only spread … Read more »

2022 Crimes and Immigration Seminar

The Crimes and Immigration Seminar is an annual CLE program that provides in-depth training on key topics in criminal-immigration law practice. The seminar is designed to be useful and engaging for both introductory and advanced immigration law practitioners. The first day will cover a variety of topics relating to the categorical approach, the analysis that courts use to determine the … Read more »

DHS Enforcement Guidance: Practice Advisories for Immigration and Criminal Defense Attorneys (Updated June 2023)

June 2023 Update: On June 23, 2023 the Supreme Court decided in U.S. v. Texas that states cannot challenge the administration’s enforcement priorities that guide immigration arrests and deportation.  Texas and Louisiana had tried to block DHS’s 2021 enforcement guidance/prosecutorial discretion memo (“Mayorkas memo”).  Although the decision did not automatically reinstate this memo, it appears likely that this will happen. In light of … Read more »

IDP’s Impact in 2021: Remarkable Victories in Challenging Times

Dear Friends of IDP, We started 2021 with the promise of renewed opportunities to reverse some of the deeply harmful practices of the previous administration. Despite the Biden administration’s promises to bring humanity to the immigration system, we have seen blatant racist and violent treatment of Haitians at the border, the defense of Trump-era policies in court, and the continued … Read more »

IDP Summer Internship

The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) is a national nonprofit advocacy organization that promotes fundamental fairness for immigrants accused or convicted of crimes. IDP seeks to minimize the harsh and disproportionate immigration consequences of contact with the criminal legal system by working to transform unjust deportation laws and policies, and by educating and advising immigrants, their criminal defenders, and other advocates. … Read more »

Resource: ICE Knows That You’re In DOCCS 

IDP has put together a resource that provides critical information to immigrants who are facing time in NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) or who are currently in DOCCS custody. Even though ICE and DOCCS have established close collaboration over the past few decades, people entering into or in DOCCS custody often have very little information on what … Read more »

IDP Statement: DHS’s Deportation Memo Reinforces Flawed Policies of the Past

September 30, 2021 New York, NY — Today, the Department of Homeland Security released a new deportation memo that continues to reinforce the role of policing and incarceration as a feeder into the deportation system. The memo responds to substantial advocacy by acknowledging the harms of taking a one-dimensional approach to immigration policing, and its deportation categories appear less rigid … Read more »

IDP Welcomes New Executive Director Jonathan Monsalve

After a nationwide search, we are thrilled to announce that Jonathan Monsalve has been selected as the Immigrant Defense Project’s next Executive Director. With a record of success building and growing mission-driven programs, Jon will bring vital leadership to IDP at a moment of critical growth. As the criminalization of immigrants has become more entrenched, the need for IDP’s advocacy … Read more »

Op-Ed: DOJ Immigration Reform Must Overturn Harmful Precedent, by Andrew Wachtenheim

Law360 published an op-ed by Andrew Wachtenheim, IDP’s Supervising Litigation Attorney, analyzing a body of administrative law opinions that wrongly attach harsh and unauthorized immigration consequences to past contact with the criminal legal system, with discriminatory impact on immigrants of color. The op-ed focuses on precedent decisions published by the Board of Immigration Appeals and Office of the Attorney General … Read more »

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 »

Updated Practice Advisory: “Realistic Probability” in Immigration Categorical Approach Cases

Immigrant Defense Project and NIPNLG have issued a new national-scope practice advisory entitled “Realistic Probability” in Immigration Categorical Approach Cases (June 3, 2021).  The practice advisory discusses the origins of the “realistic probability” concept in immigration law, national case law on realistic probability, and litigation issues currently before the immigration agencies and federal courts.  The new advisory is an update to … 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.”

Lawsuit Seeks Documents on ICE’s “Vigilante Training” Programs

Lawsuit Filed Under Freedom of Information Act May 11, 2021, Chicago –  Today, immigrant rights groups sued Immigration and Customs Enforcement under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), to compel ICE to release documents pertaining to its operation of so-called “Citizens Academy” programs. These programs are spearheaded by ICE’s public relations offices and one of the ways that ICE subverts … Read more »