Someone’s Been Detained

Get free legal help in New York City

Detained individuals may be eligible for a free lawyer.

  • The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) is a program funded by New York City to provide high-quality, experienced lawyers for immigrant New Yorkers detained by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who have a case in immigration court.

  • The organizations that are part of the NYIFUP program in New York City are: Brooklyn Defender Services, Bronx Defenders, and Legal Aid Society.

  • To qualify for a free lawyer, a detained person must meet the below requirements:

    • The deportation case is at Varick Street Immigration Court

    • It is the first hearing in immigration court for that case

    • The household income is below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines

    • The person is not already represented by an attorney

**The above requirements may change, and sometimes they do change. If you believe your loved one is eligible for a NYIFUP attorney and did not meet with one at their first hearing, advise them to tell the judge they want their case to be heard on a day the NYIFUP lawyers are scheduled to be there.

  • Be aware: In some cases, people are not eligible to see an immigration judge (for example, if you returned to the U.S. without permission from immigration after being deported).

Other legal help

  • If your loved one is not eligible for NYIFUP, you or a loved one can call the Office of New Americans hotline at 1-800-566-7636 to get referrals for other immigration lawyers.

If your loved one has an immigration court case outside of New York City or is detained in another area of the United States, you can find legal help at