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Albany County Executive McCoy Announces Regional Immigration Assistance Center and Names Director

1/22/2016 11:21:17 AM

State with the mission of ensuring that indigent immigrant clients who receive legal representation be provided accurate and comprehensive legal advice in regard to the immigration consequences of their case.

The center will be funded by the Office of Indigent Legal Services and the regional center will provide immigration legal support, assistance and training to improve the quality of mandated representation to immigrant clients in criminal and family court cases.

“With significant changes in the immigration laws and a growing need in the region, I believe that this will help serve those immigrants who need legal representation,” said McCoy. “We will be serving a population that needs specialized representation because of language, cultural and economic barriers and potential deportation issues. I am thrilled Albany County will provide the leadership needed in this important role.”

In 2015 the Office of Indigent Legal Services announced that six regions in the state would receive grant funding to establish the centers. The Albany region includes 14 counties, ranging from Albany and Schoharie counties to the Canadian border and will receive $450,000 a year for three years. The centers are being established to comply with 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky which now requires defense counsel to advise immigrant clients of the potential immigration consequences of a criminal conviction. Additionally defense attorneys must also advise clients in family court cases in which their immigrant status may affect decisions such as child custody, visitation, adoption and termination parental rights.   

 McCoy also announced that Jim Milstein, will be leaving his position as the County’s Public Defender to become the Director of the new Regional Immigration Assistance Center. 

 “I look forward to working with the Office of Indigent Legal Services and the attorneys within this region to improve the quality of representation to our noncitizen community,” said Milstein

 The regional centers will be overseen by Indigent Legal Services Director of Regional Services Joanne Macri, who is seen as an expert in immigration law in New York and nationally.        

 

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy