New website helps immigrant New Yorkers at risk of deportation understand their rights, prepare their family, and connect with advocates.
NEW YORK, MARCH 3, 2017 - In response to increased immigration enforcement activities and the ensuing fear rippling through our communities, LawHelpNY has launched a new web page to provide immigrant New Yorkers with resources to protect and prepare themselves and their families. Tools for Immigrant New Yorkers, available in English and Spanish, helps immigrants understand and exercise their rights when interacting with law enforcement, prepare themselves and their families in the case of arrest of a family member, and connect with advocates who can help.
President Trump's January 25 executive order on immigration drastically expanded the class of people whom the federal government considers priority for deportation. A series of ICE arrests around the country, including in New York, followed closely on the heels of the order's announcement. Tools for Immigrant New Yorkers was developed to ensure New York immigrants not only know, but are ready to exercise their rights with regard to immigration enforcement activities.
Among other tools, the website supplies immigrants with a card to carry on their person that advises law enforcement that they are exercising their right to remain silent and that they will not sign anything without first having the opportunity to speak with an attorney. It also provides information on how to locate a family member who has been detained and how to request their release on bond. Linking to hotlines and resources from leading immigration advocacy organizations, and hosting a calendar of immigration legal clinics and know your rights workshops around New York State, Tools for Immigrant New Yorkers serves as a one-stop shop for immigrant New Yorkers who want to protect themselves and their families in this new enforcement regime.
"Fear can be paralyzing," said LawHelpNY Program Director Quisquella Addison. "It is our hope that this website will empower immigrants in New York to be ready to exercise their rights if the time comes to do so and to have a plan to ensure that their family's most immediate needs are taken care of. We expect that it will allow people to more easily connect with one of the many dedicated organizations providing community education and legal services to immigrants across New York State. Everyone has rights, regardless of immigration status, and we want to ensure people feel prepared to assert those rights."
Tools for Immigrant New Yorkers was created with support from the IOLA Fund of New York, New York Community Trust and other donors who support LawHelpNY's mission to increase access to justice for low-income New Yorkers through easily accessible and effective technology solutions.
Tools for Immigrant New Yorkers is available in Spanish and English. To learn more, visit www.lawhelpny.org/immigration.
LawHelpNY is a project of Pro Bono Net in collaboration with leading legal aid organizations in New York State. The LawHelpNY website offers hundreds of multilingual self-help resources spanning a range of civil legal issues, which are geared towards vulnerable New Yorkers who cannot afford an attorney. From demanding repairs from landlords to instructing collection agencies to stop harassment, low-income New Yorkers can find Do-It-Yourself forms, informational guides, and live chat assistance on the LawHelpNY website. LawHelpNY also maintains a directory of more than 600 legal aid organizations around the state that New Yorkers can search according to particular legal issue and zip code. To learn more visit www.lawhelpny.org.
About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit dedicated to increasing access to justice for the disadvantaged. Through innovative technology solutions and expertise in building and mobilizing justice networks, Pro Bono Net transforms the way legal help reaches those in need. Its programs and technology empower the public with information and self-help tools to improve their lives, equip advocates with the resources to make a stronger impact, and mobilize volunteers to expand help available. To learn more, visit www.probono.net.