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NYLAG on CBS New York: The impact of budget cuts on legal services for recently arrived immigrants

Budget cuts reflected in the City’s November Program to Eliminate the Gap (PEG) further defund the Rapid Response Legal Collaborative—a program through which NYLAG provides legal services to recently arrived immigrants—all while we’re seeing double the casework with half the resources.

The City points to our new neighbors as the cause for citywide cuts, which is rhetoric we adamantly reject. In fact, we assert that cuts to expert immigration legal services like ours will only pose additional challenges for these newest New Yorkers, and will cost the city more in the long run as cuts to services will leave more people unable to obtain legal status, putting work authorization and stable housing further out of reach.

Immigrant Protection Unit Co-Director Jodi Ziesemer spoke with CBS New York about the cuts’ potential impacts: “‘[The] city is looking to us to serve and to preserve these people’s rights, and they have cut our funding specifically for this program almost in half. We are trying to serve double the number of people with half the resources,’ Ziesemer said… Attorneys at NYLAG say without their assistance, many asylum seekers will be at risk for deportation.”

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