Murphy doubles funds for lawyers for ICE detainees

Matt Katz, WNYC | October 2, 2020 | Immigration
Governor allocates more than $6 million to give immigrants a better chance at avoiding deportation

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.

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