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Spotlight

Walls and Bridges

Legal Recourse for Immigrants in the Age of Zero Tolerance

Vera is committed to securing equal justice for all people, regardless of race, nationality, or country of origin, and to ending mass incarceration while strengthening families and communities. These bedrock values are under siege on our southern border as immigrants flee violence and persecution in pursuit of asylum, family reunification, and a better life in the United States only to face a “zero tolerance” policy. The obstacles facing unrepresented immigrants, and detained immigrants in particular, are immense as they traverse a labyrinth of American immigration law. Yet almost no non-citizens are legally entitled to government-funded representation, and most go unrepresented, facing permanent separation from their loved ones and often unsafe conditions if deported.

This collection of Vera's work spotlights our efforts to expand legal representation and protect due process for immigrants facing detention and deportation.

ICON is a resource for parents who have been separated from their children due to the administration’s zero tolerance policy—as well as for the attorneys for these parents—to locate and connect with the legal service providers (LSPs) working with their children. ICON also seeks to ensure due process for these separated children and their families.
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The Immigration Technical Assistance Center (ITAC) is a publically-accessible, searchable, online resource that contains materials on substantive and procedural immigration issues. Through ITAC, Vera will share a growing library of technical support resources with the immigrant advocacy community in support of our goal of increasing overall capacity for immigration representation.
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New York State Becomes First in the Nation to Provide Lawyers for All Immigrants Detained and Facing Deportation

New York, NY – The Vera Institute of Justice and partner organizations today announced that detained New Yorkers in all upstate immigration courts will now be eligible to receive legal counsel during deportation proceedings. The 2018 New York State budget included a grant of $4 million to significantly expand the New York Immigrant Family Unity Pro ...

Press Release
April 07, 2017
Press Release
The 2018 New York State budget included a grant of $4 million to significantly expand the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), a groundbreaking public defense program for immigrants facing deportation that was launched in New York City in 2013. As a result, New Yorkers in all upstate immigration courts are now eligible to receive legal counsel during deportation proceedings.
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The Legal Orientation Program educates detained immigrants about their rights and the immigration court process so that they can make informed decisions about their legal cases. The program, funded by the Executive Office for Immigration Review and administered by Vera, operates at 38 detention facilities across the country.
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