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mc testimony 03052024

NYLAG Immigrant Protection Unit Co-Director Melissa Chua Testifies Before the NYC Council on the Preliminary Budget for FY 2025

Melissa Chua, Co-Director of NYLAG’s Immigrant Protection Unit, testified before the New York City Council’s Committee on Immigration regarding the Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2025, the Preliminary Capital Plan for Fiscal Years 2024-2028, and the Fiscal 2024 Preliminary Mayor’s Management Report.

Her testimony highlights the critical need for long term investments in comprehensive immigration legal services, especially for providers with the expertise and competency required to handle such sensitive casework.

"NYLAG has already seen many newly arrived immigrants who were ordered deported without the opportunity to present their claim for asylum or have been ordered deported after pro se hearings during which there were serious due process and other legal issues. Moreover, with the issues concerning mail created by the recent 30/60 day shelter rules, we anticipate that the number of individuals who are ordered deported in absentia for failure to receive notice of their hearings will increase over the next year. To preserve the rights of these asylum seekers and ensure that they continue to be able to work legally within the United States, an appeal or motion to reopen must be timely filed. However, these motions and appeals require a specific area of expertise that has been developed over the last five years of RRLC’s post-order work."

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