STATE OF NEW YORK
2015-2016 Regular Sessions
January 21, 2015
Introduced by Sen. CARLUCCI -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance
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, is financially unable to retain counsel, and is being
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 2015 2
1 held for removal proceedings in the state of New York or within twenty
2 miles of the state of New York.
3 (b) Such right to counsel shall attach from the commencement of the
4 proceeding; if however an individual is not initially eligible for such
5 right to counsel, such right shall attach at the point thereafter when
6 such individual becomes eligible for state appointed counsel.
7 (c) Such right to counsel shall require representation of such eligi-
8 ble individual in court, regardless of the location of the individual
9 throughout the proceedings.
10 3. Contracts with legal service providers. (a) The department of
11 state, in consultation with the office of indigent legal services, shall
12 contract with legal service providers to guarantee the provision of the
13 legal services required under subdivision two of this section and shall
14 oversee and take all steps necessary to ensure the effective adminis-
15 tration of the provision of services required under this section.
16 (b) Such contracts shall provide for the representation of qualifying
17 individuals as defined in subdivision two of this section, at no charge,
18 in the following proceedings:
19 (i) the first or any subsequent appearance in an instant removal
20 proceeding before the immigration court;
21 (ii) a proceeding seeking release from United States department of
22 homeland security custody; and
23 (iii) in any appeal to the board of immigration appeals.
24 (c) Such contracts shall also provide reimbursement for basic legal
25 support services including, but not limited to, access to necessary
26 experts, translation and interpretation services, social work and mental
27 health assessment services, and investigative services. Where practica-
28 ble, such contracts shall also provide travel reimbursement to the legal
29 provider if he or she is required to travel to meet with clients.
30 4. Report on findings of the pilot program. The department of state
31 shall prepare a report at the conclusion of the pilot program and
32 provide such report to the governor, the temporary president of the
33 senate, and the speaker of the assembly, no later than one year after
34 the conclusion of the program. The report shall include, at minimum, an
35 assessment of the impact of this section on:
36 (a) the individuals granted the right to state-appointed counsel,
37 including but not limited to the benefits received by the individual and
38 his or her immediate family as a result of receiving state-appointed
40 (b) the state budget and budgets of the political subdivisions of the
41 state, including consideration of both the costs of administering the
42 program and the cost savings realized by the state, from the prevention
43 of unnecessary deportations;
44 (c) the state economy, including specifically the impact on New York
45 state employers and businesses; and
46 (d) the federal government, including specifically the administration
47 of the nation's immigration courts and enforcement systems.
48 § 3. This act shall take effect April 1, 2016 and shall expire two
49 years after such effective date when upon such date the provisions of
50 this act shall be deemed repealed.