Documented – City Councilmember Shahana Hanif, City Comptroller Brad Lander led a rally in City Hall Park on Thursday morning to demand that the New York City government administration allocate “at least $70 million” for legal services for asylum seekers. Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and Immigrant rights advocacy groups — Immigrant Arc, Make The Road NY, Win, New York Immigration Coalition, and others — were there to support their effort.

The city administration will decide by June 30 whether the adopted budget will include the $70 million for legal services for asylum seekers.

Of that amount, advocates have asked that $10 million be used for scaling up pro se legal clinics to support people representing themselves as they apply for asylum, work authorizations, and temporary protected status. The remaining $60 million could go toward providing legal representation to those in immigration courts. 

Hanif, chair of the immigration committee, said earlier last month she and her colleagues asked the city administration about the $5 million it said would allocate for immigration legal services. “They have not provided any clarity” on how much has been spent so far, Hanif said [Read More].