NYLAG’s Melissa Chua and Grace Choi spoke to Gothamist about how chaos and delays outside of immigration court in New York City are jeopardizing immigrants’ chances at applying for asylum.
“An Ecuadorian woman in her 30s, who arrived in mid-2021 and asked that her full name not be used for fear of jeopardizing her immigration case, and her attorneys said she was ordered deported last fall for missing a court hearing after being turned away at the courthouse.
“Eventually, the woman connected with pro bono attorneys at the New York Legal Assistance Group, who helped her successfully reopen her case.
“‘They gave me a deportation order that day, and I wanted to die,’ she said. ‘The guard did not let me pass.’ […]
“’Even the slightest additional burden on the system as it exists has laid bare the [bureaucratic] problems in it,’ said Grace Choi, a legal fellow at NYLAG. But with the latest migrant influx, she said, ‘It’s definitely gotten worse… It’s on a scale we haven’t seen before.'”
Read the full piece by Arya Sundaram in Gothamist from May 11, 2023.