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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has approved the new state budget, which will double the funding of the state’s public defender system for the immigration courts. Immigrants in immigration court proceedings do not have a right to an attorney, so they often rely on pro bono help. New York City’s New York Immigrant Family Unity Project provides most detained immigrants with an attorney and is regularly funded. New Jersey had no such program until last year, until Murphy allocated $3.1 million to hire lawyers. Now, he’s doubled that figure to more than $6 million. WNYC
ICE Announces It’s Joining Search for Missing NJ Girl
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that it would join the FBI in searching for Dulce Maria Alavez, a 5-year-old New Jersey girl who has been missing for more than a year. Despite years of aggressive arrests and raids in communities across New Jersey, ICE says residents should not fear coming forward with information about the kidnapping. “This is a tragic situation for the family and we extend our deepest sympathies to them during this difficult time,” said ICE ERO Newark Field Office Director John Tsoukaris. Dulce went missing from the small rural town, which has over years become increasingly populated with Latino immigrants. The FBI says leads continue to emerge and it is optimistic it will solve the case. Patch
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City Council Earmarks $28.4 Million for Immigration-Related Programs
The New York City Council earmarked $28.4 million in fiscal year 2021 to fund legal services programs for immigrants, representation for unaccompanied minors, and services to improve access to health care and other shortcomings. “At a time when many immigrant families need assistance because they are disproportionately experiencing economic hardship and health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic, I am proud that New York City is committed to funding critical services our immigrant neighbors need,” Council Member Carlos Menchaca said in a statement. “Heightened fear about the public charge rule and ICE raids warrant a robust response by the city to keep our communities informed and protected.” Fox 5 NY
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