Request for Proposals for NY Immigrant Family Unity Project at Batavia Immigration Court
On August 15, 2014, the Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) to provide deportation defense services at the Batavia Immigration Court in Western New York. The RFP is to identify a legal services provider to conduct a pilot program of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) at Batavia. NYIFUP, the nation’s first government-funded universal-representation program for detained immigrants, conducted a 190-case pilot last year at the Varick Street Immigration Court in New York City. NYIFUP has now been fully funded at Varick Street by the City of New York and has also expanded to serve detained New York City residents whose deportation cases are being heard in the Newark and Elizabeth (NJ) immigration courts.
The funding for this pilot comes from the New York State Assembly and will be administered through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services; $80,000 is available pursuant to this RFP. The contract term will begin in or about November 2014 and must end not later than March 31, 2015.
The Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights, The Center for Popular Democracy, Make the Road New York, the Immigration Justice Clinic of Cardozo Law School, and Vera have been functioning as a collaborative to seek funding for NYIFUP. The five organizations, together with other supporters, are continuing efforts to seek additional New York State funding which would allow NYIFUP to provide representation at the Batavia Immigration Court to all otherwise-unrepresented, financially eligible respondents. NYIFUP is an outgrowth of the work of the Study Group on Immigrant Representation initiated by Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann.
Applicants may be existing law firms or nonprofit legal service organizations, or may be consortia of nonprofit organizations and/or private law firms that join together to bid for the contract.
Proposals are due September 19, 2014. There is a pre-proposal conference on August 27, 2014.
The RFP may be obtained by contacting NYIFUP@vera.org, using the subject “Request for RFP.” Questions should be addressed to the same address.