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Testimony: Legal Services for Asylum Seekers in New York City

New York City has seen a major influx of immigrants at the Southern Border since the Spring of 2022. The need for legal services for these newly arrived immigrants has grown tremendously too. However, there’s a lack of significant additional investment in legal services organizations and as a result it has diminished organizations’ abilities to leverage their expertise to serve newly arrived immigrants. Melissa Chua, the Associate Director of the Immigration Protection Unit at the New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), spoke before the New York City Council Committee on Immigration regarding legal services for asylum seekers. Below is an excerpt from her testimony: 

We cannot treat the questions of legal services and other support for New Yorkers as a temporary issue. Instead, we must support the investment in expertise, programming, and services to continue to meet the ongoing and ever-changing legal needs of the immigrant community in New York City long term.” 

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