Available 24/7

The Impact of Recent Immigration Laws on Asylum Seekers in New York (2024)

The Impact of Recent Immigration Laws on Asylum Seekers in New York (2024)

As an immigrant or asylum seeker in New York, it can be overwhelming to keep up with all the current New York legislation and understand how it may impact a certain person’s case. By being aware of the impact of recent immigration laws on asylum seekers in New York, those seeking asylum in the state can protect their rights and ensure that they can take wise measures to win their cases.

In New York State, there is a large backlog of pending asylum seeker cases, which results in years of waiting until a first immigration court hearing. This damages the rights and protections of asylum seekers in the state and the communities where they are being housed, as they cannot leverage the untapped potential.

While asylum seekers are granted the right to a New York asylum lawyer in immigration court, they are not given one if they cannot afford it. Fortunately, there is some recent legislation that has been introduced to address some of these challenges.

The Impact of Recent Immigration Laws on Asylum Seekers in New York

Understanding the Impact That Senate Bill S999A Could Have

While it has not been signed into law, as of April 2024, Senate Bill S999A, otherwise known as the Access to Representation Act, would not only guarantee individuals who are undergoing immigration proceedings the right to have legal counsel, it would also offer the administration of such services. According to a New York City Comptroller’s report, there are currently roughly 53,000 New Yorkers who would be able to remain in New York if they could get access to the legal representation they need to navigate their immigration proceedings.

Because these people are not able to work during asylum proceedings, the New York City economy is losing access to untapped potential. If Senate Bill S999A was passed, investing in the NY immigration system and allowing asylum seekers to have work authorization, the earning potential in New York could increase by up to $470 million. In the state, the current wait time for asylum seekers to have their first immigration court hearing is four years. This is a result of the buildup of cases in the system.

Why Are People Rallying Behind the Access to Representation Act?

The Access to Representation Act is sponsored by Assembly Member Catalina Cruz and State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal. Its goal is to allow tens of thousands of New Yorkers to remain safely in their homes with their loved ones, unlocking access to meaningful career opportunities that would drastically support the state economy. This legislation is also backed by over 100 state politicians, the New York State Bar Association, and key labor unions.

According to the Comptroller’s report, there are 330,000 cases currently pending in the New York state immigration courts, with less than half of those individuals having legal representation. By granting universal legal representation to asylum seekers, this would:

  • -Make the process more efficient.
  • -Decrease overall wait times for asylum seekers.
  • -Increase their chances of winning in immigration court and being able to stay.
  • -Secure meaningful employment opportunities so that they can contribute to the New York Community and economy.


Q: Are New York Asylum Seekers Who Are Facing Deportation Guaranteed a Lawyer?

A: In New York, asylum seekers who are facing deportation are guaranteed the right to a lawyer under federal law. However, the United States government does not provide the defendant with a lawyer. This means that if the individual facing charges cannot pay for a lawyer, they will not have legal representation in immigration court.

As of April 2024, there is legislation pending, Senate Bill S999A, that would mandate government-funded attorneys in immigration courts for asylum seekers who need legal representation.

Q: Does New York State Support Government-Funded Attorneys in Immigration Court?

A: According to a report by The Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) regarding a survey conducted in January 2020 in New York State, 93% of New Yorkers believe that it is somewhat or very important for all individuals, including people in immigration court, to have access to legal representation.

In addition to this, over 90% of New Yorkers support government-funded legal representation for individuals who are in immigration court. Even 77% of people who are against U.S. immigration support the government funding of lawyers for people in immigration courts.

Q: What Is the Access to Representation Act in New York?

A: The Access to Representation Act, otherwise known as Senate Bill S999A, will require the state of New York to appoint an immigration attorney for any person in the state who is facing the risk of deportation and meets certain income requirements.

Furthermore, the Access to Representation Act will ensure consistent funding to immigration legal services, addressing the challenge that asylum seekers and their legal representatives face because of interruptions in funding. If the Senate Bill S999A passes, it will be the first of its kind in the country.

Q: Who Supports the New York Access to Representation Act?

A: The Access to Representation Act, which would mandate the state of New York to appoint an immigration lawyer to asylum seekers and others facing deportation who show financial need, is supported by a wide range of community members, politicians, and professional organizations.

The Access to Representation Act has support from Attorney General Letitia James, major labor unions, and the New York State Bar Association. It’s also important to note that nine out of ten New Yorkers support government-funded legal representation for people in immigration court.

Get Support for Navigating Recent Immigration Law Changes as an Asylum Seeker in New York

While the process of navigating the immigration court system can be overwhelming and complex, you do not have to go through it alone. A knowledgeable and dedicated immigration lawyer from the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, can help you understand how current laws and regulations in New York State and beyond could potentially impact your case.

We are here to provide a safe and welcoming place to share your story. After understanding your case details and addressing your concerns and questions, we can move forward with a strong immigration strategy to help you obtain the legal right to work and live in New York. Contact us today to get started.

Leave a Reply

Contact Our Firm
Schedule an initial consultation to
discuss your case right away.
Schedule A Consult
Translate »