Immigration Advocates on Gov. Hochul's Executive Budget: This Proposal Falls Short

CARE for Immigrant Families Calls for Passage of Access to Representation Act and Increased Funding to Ensure Fairness in Immigration System

ALBANY – In response to Governor Hochul’s executive budget proposal today, the Campaign for Access, Representation, and Equity (CARE) for Immigrant Families issued the following statement:

“Given the humanitarian issues our state is experiencing, Governor Hochul’s executive budget proposal fails to meet the needs of thousands of immigrants facing heartbreaking challenges in the legal system right now. Although Governor Hochul is right to include an investment of $43 million for immigration services, this allocation falls far short of what is required to ensure our neighbors are protected and asylum seekers are given a fair shot in a system that’s stacked against them.

“Having an attorney makes a world of difference for people in immigration court. Every single data point shows that people facing deportation are exponentially more likely to remain with their families and loved ones if they have a lawyer fighting for them.

“Yet today, tens of thousands of New Yorkers are fending for themselves without lawyers in complex immigration proceedings. As the legislature negotiates the executive budget, the state has to do better. Lawmakers must not only fully fund immigration services, but also pass the Access to Representation Act, which will ensure the right to legal representation in these complicated cases. This investment will also go a long way toward helping the state prepare for future new arrivals.

“While other states are cynically sending thousands of immigrants to New York, our state can demonstrate that a humane approach to immigration delivers both safety and justice. But it must be done through substantial investments in smart long-term solutions. Immigrants are the backbone of New York’s communities and the engine of our state’s economic growth. We will work to make sure Governor Hochul and legislative leaders recognize these truths, and stand up for all New Yorkers regardless of wealth or legal status.”

About the Campaign for Access, Representation, and Equity (CARE) for Immigrant Families: The Vera Institute of Justice, the New York Immigration Coalition, and Immigrant-ARC lead the CARE for Immigrant Families, a coalition of over 100 leading organizations, religious groups, and elected officials united to pass the Access to Representation Act. The bill (S00999/A00170) will guarantee access to legal representation for immigrants at risk of deportation in New York. Sponsored by Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Catalina Cruz, the legislation would be the first in the nation to create a statewide right to legal representation for people facing deportation who cannot afford it, whether they have recently arrived in the state or have been New Yorkers for decades.


About the Vera Institute of Justice: The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and policy experts working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. For more information, visit

About Immigrant ARC: Immigrant ARC (I-ARC) is a collaborative of over 80 organizations and professional associations providing legal services to New York’s immigrant communities throughout the State. Born out of the legal effort at JFK Airport during the Muslim Travel Ban in 2017, our mission is clear: to increase access to counsel and access to justice for all immigrant New Yorkers. For more information, visit

About the New York Immigration Coalition: The New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC) is an umbrella policy & advocacy organization that represents over 200 immigrant and refugee rights groups throughout New York. The NYIC serves one of the largest and most diverse newcomer populations in the United States. The multi-racial and multi-sector NYIC membership base includes grassroots and nonprofit community organizations, religious and academic institutions, labor unions, as well as legal and socioeconomic justice organizations. The NYIC not only establishes a forum for immigrant groups to voice their concerns, but also provides a platform for collective action to drive positive social change. Since its founding in 1987, the NYIC has evolved into a powerful voice of advocacy by spearheading innovative policies, promoting and protecting the rights of immigrant communities, improving newcomer access to services, developing leadership and capacity, expanding civic participation, and mobilizing member groups to respond to the fluctuating needs of immigrant communities.

Related Content