STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 27, 2015
Introduced by M. of A. MOYA -- read once and referred to the Committee
on Governmental Operations
AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to the "New York immi-
grant family unity pilot program"; and providing for the repeal of
such provisions upon expiration thereof
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
2 the "New York immigrant family unity pilot program".
3 § 2. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 94-c to read
4 as follows:
5 § 94-c. Provision of counsel to detained indigent individuals in
6 removal proceedings pilot program. 1. Definitions. For the purposes of
7 this section:
8 (a) "Resident of the state of New York" shall mean a person who lives
9 in New York state with the intent to make New York state a fixed and
10 permanent place to live. Anyone currently residing in the state of New
11 York who has lived in the state for at least ninety days is presumed to
12 be a resident of New York state.
13 (b) "Financially unable to obtain counsel" shall mean that an individ-
14 ual's household income does not exceed two hundred percent of the feder-
15 al poverty guidelines set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 9902(2).
16 (c) "Immigration court" shall mean the courts under the jurisdiction
17 of the executive office for immigration review under the department of
19 (d) "Legal service providers" shall mean private law firms, nonprofit
20 legal service organizations, or any combination thereof.
21 2. Right to counsel in immigration court; eligibility. (a) The right
22 to state-appointed counsel shall be extended to any resident of the
23 state of New York who is detained by the United States department of
24 homeland security in a United States immigration and customs enforcement
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 3731 2
1 (ICE) processing center, or a detention facility or county jail that has
2 a contract with ICE, is financially unable to retain counsel, and is
3 being held for removal proceedings in the state of New York or within
4 twenty miles of the state of New York.
5 (b) Such right to counsel shall attach from the commencement of the
6 proceeding; if however an individual is not initially eligible for such
7 right to counsel, such right shall attach at the point thereafter when
8 such individual becomes eligible for state appointed counsel.
9 (c) Such right to counsel shall require representation of such eligi-
10 ble individual in court, regardless of the location of the individual
11 throughout the proceedings.
12 3. Contracts with legal service providers. (a) The department of
13 state, in consultation with the office of indigent legal services (ILS),
14 shall contract with legal service providers to guarantee the provision
15 of the legal services required under subdivision two of this section and
16 shall oversee and take all steps necessary to ensure the effective
17 administration of the provision of services required under this section.
18 (b) Such contracts shall provide for the representation of qualifying
19 individuals as defined in subdivision two of this section, at no charge,
20 in the following proceedings:
21 (i) the first or any subsequent appearance in an instant removal
22 proceeding before the immigration court;
23 (ii) a proceeding seeking release from United States department of
24 homeland security custody; and
25 (iii) in any appeal to the board of immigration appeals.
26 (c) Such contracts shall also provide reimbursement for basic legal
27 support services including, but not limited to, access to necessary
28 experts, translation and interpretation services, social work and mental
29 health assessment services, and investigative services. Where practica-
30 ble, such contracts shall also provide travel reimbursement to the legal
31 provider if he or she is required to travel to meet with clients.
32 4. Report on findings of the pilot program. The department of state,
33 in consultation with ILS, shall prepare a report at the conclusion of
34 the pilot program and provide such report to the governor, the temporary
35 president of the senate, and the speaker of the assembly, no later than
36 one year after the conclusion of the program. The report shall include,
37 at minimum, an assessment of the impact of this section on:
38 (a) the individuals granted the right to state-appointed counsel,
39 including but not limited to the benefits received by the individual and
40 his or her immediate family as a result of receiving state-appointed
42 (b) the state budget and budgets of the political subdivisions of the
43 state, including consideration of both the costs of administering the
44 program and the cost savings realized by the state, from the prevention
45 of unnecessary deportations;
46 (c) the state economy, including specifically the impact on New York
47 state employers and businesses; and
48 (d) the federal government, including specifically the administration
49 of the nation's immigration courts and enforcement systems.
50 § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2016 and shall expire two
51 years after such effective date when upon such date the provisions of
52 this act shall be deemed repealed.