The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) in New York City helps thousands of immigrants in New York State. Among them are families made up of U.S. citizens and citizens of other countries who would have been torn apart by deportation without proper representation. Previously a NYSDA program, the independent IDP provides training and consultation to public defenders representing immigrants in the criminal and family court systems.
NYSDA works with the NY Indigent Legal Services (ILS) Office and counties to support and publicize Regional Immigration Assistance Centers (RIACs) around the state, created with grants from ILS. Addresses for the RIACs, and other resources relating to immigration, can be found at Criminal Immigration Resources.
NYSDA has a long-standing commitment to address the potential immigration consequences of criminal and family court proceedings starting in 1997 with the Criminal Defense Immigration Project, a year after Congress made draconian changes to immigration laws that remain in place. In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Padilla v Kentucky that attorneys must advise clients about immigration consequences of criminal case dispositions. NYSDA offered award-winning trainings across the state to help public defense providers implement this constitutional obligation.