PLS’ Immigration Unit provides representation to all immigrants in New York State prisons who are facing deportation hearings. PLS’ immigration unit, which opened in 2014, handles over 300 deportation cases annually. In 2015, the success rate for incarcerated individuals facing deportation hearings without representation was reported to be 2%. The success rate for clients represented by PLS attorneys has been close to 38%.
PLS provides immigration representation to individuals detained or facing detention in Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren, Washington, Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis, St Lawrence County jails.
Under the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Administration for Children and Families, Office of Refugee Resettlement is tasked with overseeing the care and placement of unaccompanied children (“children”). PLS provides pro bono services, including representation, for children in HHS custody who are being held at Berkshire Farms in Canaan, New York and who are thereafter released from HHS custody when they are released to the Capitol Region area. PLS provides a wide range of services to these children, including:
- Providing a “Know Your Rights Orientation” (KYR);
- Conducting initial interviews (“screenings”) with unrepresented children in HHS custody;
- Providing courtroom assistance for all unrepresented children in HHS custody who are required to appear in court while in custody;
- Assisting where unrepresented children in HHS custody, care provider managers, or other relevant persons are required by immigration court practice and procedures to file paperwork with DHS or DOJ;
- Coordinating the assignment of Pro Bono Attorneys for children in HHS custody;
- Providing legal referrals to children as they move through the ORR system; and
- Conducting training on immigration law and procedures for newly recruited attorneys, both in-house and volunteer.