Vera Institute of Justice Statement on New York Budget Funding for Critical Services for Newly Arriving Migrants

October 31, 2023
Contact: Zameena Mejia |

New York – In a recent memo from New York State Governor Kathy Hochul’s Division of the Budget Director Blake Washington, new spending limits have been proposed for critical services for newly arriving migrants in the state’s next fiscal budget.

In response, the Vera Institute of Justice’s Shayna Kessler, associate director for advocacy for Vera's Advancing Universal Representation initiative, issued the following statement:

“New York thrives when we ensure that all residents have access to the support they need. That means the state must provide various forms of support, including legal and housing assistance, employment assistance, and other essential aid that help to promote safe and strong neighborhoods across New York State. We welcome the Hochul administration's stated support for legal services to help immigrants. This commitment to investing in immigration legal services is critical to ensuring immigrants can build stability, care for their families, and support thriving communities and economies.

Vera will continue working alongside our partners to ensure the Hochul administration’s stated support for immigration legal services is fulfilled, and to ensure that we invest in measures to safeguard the well-being of immigrants facing life-and-death challenges in the immigration system.”


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

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