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NYC immigrant public defender system breaks ground

NEW YORK (NEWS1130) – A first-of-its-kind program that provides free legal representation for low-income immigrant New York City residents facing deportation is making its mark.

The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project is expected to take on about 900 cases in New York, as well as a few hundred overflow cases of New York City residents being held and processed in New Jersey.

Supporters say the program has helped highlight a serious issue about the lack of legal representation in the immigration system and the impact it has on due process and the overall efficiency of the system. They hope other places in the country consider replicating the project.

The New York City Council approved $4.9 million for the program in the fiscal year that started July 1.