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County Executive McCoy Commits Resources to Helping Immigrant Detainees

July 02, 2018

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today is committing resources to ensuring immigrant refugees being housed in Albany County Jail get fair legal representation. With the recent transfer of more than 200 people to the facility and 100 more to arrive in the coming days, the County Executive is calling for qualified attorneys and interpreters to aid in the effort.

“No matter who you are or where you are from, everyone deserves their day in court and access to quality legal representation,” said County Executive McCoy. “Many of these individuals have been detained for weeks prior to arriving here without a court date or chance to request bond. As New Yorkers and as Americans, we must assist those whose only crime is chasing the American Dream and escaping the dangers of their homeland.”

The County Executive and the Albany County Office of Immigration Services are spearheading this effort to assemble a team that will help guide detainees through the legal process. They are joined by a coalition that includes the Office of Immigration Assistance, the Legal Project and the Immigration Clinic at Albany Law School that has begun to interview detainees. The information obtained could be helpful for the attorneys who may ultimately represent them in their immigration proceedings.

The first group of individuals that Albany County officials met with recently crossed the border into California and requested asylum due to fear of persecution if they were to be deported back to their countries of origin, which include Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cameroon, India, and China, to name a few. Due to the high volume of individuals that are being detained in Albany, a request has been made for volunteer attorneys to assist in the efforts to conduct initial interviews.

If you are interested in helping us interview these individuals or helping to translate, please contact the Albany County Office of Immigration Services at (518) 447-4890 with the preferred dates and times that you are available. You will be assisted in scheduling a time for lawyers to meet with the detainees and arrange for an interpreter to assist if necessary.

A questionnaire will be provided to guide attorneys through the consultation in order to obtain the information needed to connect these individuals to the appropriate services. Additionally, please also advise us if you are fluent in another language as this information will be helpful to match you with one of the detainees.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy