RIAC General Information

In September, 2011, the Indigent Legal Services Board authorized the expenditure of $8.3 million in grants to be distributed over a three-year period (i.e., approximately $2.7 million annually) to support the development of expert immigration legal resources aimed at improving the quality of indigent legal services and ensuring the right to effective representation of counsel.

The Office of Indigent Legal Services (ILS) announced the availability of funds in December of 2014, and solicited proposals (Third Revised RFP For Immigration Assistance Centers) from counties to support the development of a network of Regional Immigration Assistance Centers ("Centers") located throughout New York State. The aim of this initiative is to develop regional resources that will assist the defender community in understanding the unique complexity and rapidly evolving doctrine related to the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and to ensure that expert immigration legal support, assistance and resources are made available to those attorneys providing mandated representation within each of the designated regions.

Grants were awarded on July 6, 2015. See the Announcement Letter and Announcement Letter and Award List.

These grants awards resulted in the development of six Regional Immigration Centers. Each Center provides access to the training and legal resources necessary to assist attorneys in providing competent advice to noncitizen clients as to the potential immigration consequences of any criminal conviction in compliance with the legal and constitutional obligations established by the Supreme Court in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473 (2010). The Centers also provide legal support and immigration assistance to attorneys who provide mandated representation in family court proceedings involving a parent or other adult who requires competent legal advice on immigration issues that may directly impact such life-altering decisions as custody, visitation, adoption, and termination of parental rights.

In September 2019, the Indigent Legal Services Board authorized the expenditure of $9.9 million in grants to be distributed over a three-year period (i.e., approximately $3.3 million annually) to continue the Regional Immigration Center Initiative. ILS announced the availability of these funds in December 2019 and solicited proposals [LINK HERE] from counties. ILS hopes to announce grant awards in [DATE HERE}.

Visit the RIAC Locations page to learn more.

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