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Immigration & Deportation

We provide urgent legal services to reunify families and assist low-income immigrants in obtaining lawful status, applying for citizenship, and defending against deportation.

How To Get Help

For help with an immigration matter, whether for removal defense or for help with an affirmative immigration benefit (citizenship, green cards, family-based petitions, etc.), with concerns about public charge, or for help with advance planning for non-citizen parents, please call our Immigration Law Unit Helpline: 844-955-3425. Interpreters are available for all languages.

The helpline operates Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)

On June 18, 2020, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program could continue. For information on eligibility for the program, please view this advisory. English | Spanish

For assistance with filing an initial or renewal DACA application, please email us at dream@legal-aid.org.

Detained Individuals

Immigrant New Yorkers detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the Bergen or Hudson County Jails in New Jersey or in Orange County Jail in New York, and/or their family members, may call for information about representation through the New York Immigrant Family Unit Project (NYIFUP), a collaboration between The Legal Aid Society, Brooklyn Defender Services, and The Bronx Defenders. Immigrants detained at other immigration detention facilities and in upstate New York prisons and/or their family members can call the hotline for advice only.

Detained individuals and/or their family members can contact our Immigration Law Unit Helpline at 844-955-3425, Monday- Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.  Collect calls from detention facilities and prisons are accepted.

Important Things To Know

Legal Aid is compiling the most up to date information and resources for clients during the evolving COVID-19 pandemic.

Learn More

What you need to know about encounters with ICE and police.

Learn More

Do you have questions about the public charge rule change and what it means for you.

Learn More
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Terms You Might Hear

The justice system can be overwhelming. Get familiar with some legal terms and acronyms you might hear like appeal, adjournment, petition, jurisdiction, deposition, and affidavit.

  • Attorney – A person admitted to practice law and authorized to perform criminal and civil legal functions on behalf of clients.
  • Bail – The temporary release of a prisoner in exchange for security given for the prisoner's appearance at a later hearing.
  • Beneficiary – Generally, a beneficiary is a person or entity who receives a profit, advantage, or benefit. For example, a person named to receive something in a will is a beneficiary under such will. Or refers to alien who has as a petitioner formally filing on their behalf to receive immigration benefits.
  • Child Health Plus – New York State's health insurance plan for children. You can apply for Child Health Plus through the New York State Health Marketplace.
  • Conviction – A criminal proceeding that concludes the defendant is guilty of the charged crime.
  • DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. An American immigration policy that protects eligible immigrant youth who came to the U.S. when they were children from deportation and allows access to work permit.
  • Docket – A written list of judicial proceedings set down for trial in a court OR a number given to a case in family court.
  • Essential Plan – A new Insurance Affordability Program launched in 2016 that offers qualified individuals and families a choice of plans from high-quality private health insurers through the NY State of Heath.
  • Foster Care – A system in which a child lives with and is cared for by people who are not the child's parents for a period of time.
  • Interpreter – A person sworn at a judicial proceeding to translate oral or written language.
  • Lawyer – Someone whose job is to give advice to people about the law and speak for them in court.
  • Lien – A claim on specific property for payment of a debt.
  • Medicaid – A health insurance program for low-income and individuals with disabilities. Jointly paid for by the federal and state government.
  • Parole – Early release of a prisoner who is then subject to continued monitoring as well as compliance with certain terms and conditions for a specified period.
  • Petition – In special or summary proceedings, a paper like a document filed in court and delivered to the respondents, stating what the petitioner requests from the court and the respondents.
  • Proceeding – A type of lawsuit. For example: In Housing Court, a nonpayment proceeding seeks past-due rent; a holdover proceeding seeks possession of the premises.
  • Public Charge – An immigration law that can be basis for denying a non-citizen entry in the U.S., or for denying an application to adjust status if they are applying through a family member.
  • T-VISA – An immigration visa allowing certain victims of human trafficking and immediate family members to remain and work in the U.S. temporarily.
  • TPS – Temporary Protective Status. Offers temporary legal status to certain immigrants in the United States who cannot return to their home country due to ongoing armed conflict, natural disaster, or other extraordinary reasons.
  • USCIS – United States Citizen and Immigration Services
  • Waive – To voluntarily give up a right. Examples include not enforcing the terms of a contract, or knowingly giving up a legal right such as a speedy trial.
  • Warrant – An official document approved by an authority (normally a judge) which gives the police permission to do certain things.