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 after their first hearing, advise them to tell the judge they want their case to be assigned to a NYIFUP lawyer.

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.