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 is working with the NY Indigent Legal Services (ILS) Office and counties, spurred by ILS grants, to create Regional Centers of Public Defense Immigration Support.
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.