The new budget that Gov. Murphy signed into law Tuesday doubles the funding for attorneys for immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Immigrants held while awaiting deportation or immigration court proceedings do not have a right to attorneys, like criminal defendants do. While almost all immigrants arrested by ICE in New York get attorneys through a program funded by the city and state, that wasn’t the case in New Jersey until Murphy allocated $3.1 million last year. Now, he’s doubled that.
While that money still covers fewer than half of the hundreds of New Jerseyans detained by ICE, statistics show that immigrants with lawyers are more likely to avoid deportation, so immigrant advocates said the money will keep families together and save the lives of asylum seekers.
— WNYC News is a content partner of NJ Spotlight News.