Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that lawyers will be available through the Liberty Defense Project to offer free legal services to individuals currently detained on immigration charges at airports statewide or affected by the federal policy. This action is in direct response to the discriminatory federal travel ban upheld by the Supreme Court earlier today. The Liberty Defense Project is administered through the Office for New Americans, which has helped more than 200,000 New Americans navigate the naturalization process since 2013.
"The Trump administration's travel ban is a stain on this country's history, and the Supreme Court's ruling encourages and contributes to a culture of profiling and religious discrimination," Governor Cuomo said. "This policy is clear religious bias camouflaged as national security. In New York, we are taking action to protect the rights of immigrants, and we will never stop fighting against hate and discrimination in all its forms."
New Americans Hotline
In the wake of the Trump Administration's travel ban, Governor Cuomo launched the Office of New Americans Hotline, a toll-free, multi-lingual hotline that provides live assistance in more than 200 languages. Individuals seeking immigration assistance can call 1-800-566-7636 for free legal services through the Liberty Defense Project.
Anyone can call the hotline for information and referrals, regardless of citizenship or documented status. Calls to the hotline are confidential and anonymous. The hotline operates from 9 a.m.to 8 p.m. (ET), Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays) and is managed by Catholic Charities Community Services.
Through the hotline, individuals can:
- Ask general immigration and naturalization questions
- Be connected to free immigration attorneys
- Receive free and confidential immigration information
- Obtain referrals to immigrant-related public and private programs
- Find out information about the nearest ONA Opportunity Center
- Report immigration assistance fraud and schemes against immigrants
Liberty Defense Project
Created by Governor Cuomo in 2017 in response to hostile federal policies, the Liberty Defense Project is the nation's first state-led project to assist immigrants - regardless of status - in obtaining access to legal services and process. The Liberty Defense Project provides essential legal services on deportation defense, direct representation, consultations, application assistance, and more. The public-private partnership is administered by ONA and run in partnership with law firms, legal associations, advocacy organizations, colleges, universities, and bar associations across the state.
Since July 2017, the Liberty Defense Project provided more than 15,000 free and confidential services to individuals needing legal assistance through its network of 47 community-based groups.