May 2014           News | Reports | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Get Involved


Immigration Law is often fraught with shifts in policy and relies on individual agencies enforcement of individual circumstances. In recent months, the CLE Center has produced course materials on a wide range of this practice area's issues.

If you missed a CLE, you can still obtain books, CDS, and DVDs from the program. The CD and DVDs provide CLE credit:

10/29/2013- Immigration Remedies Available
Through a series of panel presentations by experienced immigration practitioners, this program will provide a practical introduction to often overlooked remedies available under the current immigration system.

Marriage Equality- After the Supreme Court Rulings

This program examined the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision in U.S. v. Windsor on tax and estate planning and immigration issues. Windsor has many immigration-related implications for same sex couples. The panel will explore benefits now accessible to same-sex binational couples, including sponsorship for visas, nonimmigrant derivative filings, sponsoring stepchildren and use of waivers, as well as discuss the problems that remain.


Other CLE Programs of Interest Include:

Lobbying 101: Having a Voice in New York City, Albany & Washington, D.C.
April 30
9:00 am -
12:00 pm

A practical introduction to the subject of advocacy and lobbying. The panel will cover the nuts and bolts of how to build an effective advocacy campaign--and how to do so within the law. A 50% discount will be granted to attorneys working for government agencies, public interest groups, full-time students and full-time academics.




ABA Lobby Day

Pictured L-R: City Bar Legislative Director Maria Cilenti; NYSBA past President Mark Alcott; Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez; NYSBA President-elect Glenn Lau-Kee; NYSBA Director of Governmental Relations Ron Kennedy.

City Bar Legislative Director Maria Cilenti participated in the ABA’s annual lobby day in Washington D.C. during the week of April 7th. During her trip Maria lobbied members of the New York State delegation on a variety of issues, including continued funding for the Legal Services Corporation and the right to counsel for immigrant detainees.

Legal Services Testimony
Mark Noferi testified on behalf of the Immigration & Nationality Law Committee at a hearing before the New York City Council’s Immigration Committee in February to discuss models for providing legal services for immigrants in deportation proceedings. The Committee’s testimony discussed the “incredibly high stakes” involved in deportation and the impact deportations have not just on the individuals and their families but on the City and State. Appointed counsel in immigration proceedings would likely reduce the costs of taxpayer-supported immigration detention; help the fair administration of justice in enormously back logged immigration courts; and economically benefit society, by reducing social costs such as foster care and increasing the economic contributions of those with a right to stay here. The Committee commended the Council for its past funding for immigration representation and urged them to continue that practice.

President’s Column
City Bar President Carey Dunne discusses the Association’s efforts to issue and convey policy recommendations on a wide range of topics, including immigration related issues, to the de Blasio administration as it has taken shape. Check out his latest column “Beyond November: The City Bar and the New Mayor.”

In Case You Missed It
• The NYPD has dropped its controversial “Demographics” or “Zone Assessment” Unit, which was an intelligence-gathering program in the City’s Muslim communities and beyond. Read more here.
• The New York City Council has introduced legislation that would create a municipal identification card for all New Yorkers, regardless of citizenship, provided they could provide proof of residence and identity.
• The New York State Assembly has introduced two bills which would allow individuals authorized to work in the United States, who have passed the bar exam, to practice law in New York regardless of their immigration status. Both bills are currently in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Social Security Benefits to Legalizing Immigrants
In a letter to Congress, the Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law expressed opposition to Section 2107(d) of S.744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, as it would impose a new penalty on those seeking to legalize their status in the U.S., denying Social Security credit for previously unauthorized work. Under Section 2107(d), these workers would never receive credit for unauthorized work completed between 2004 and 2014, and this would apply to those who obtain the newly-created registered provisional immigrant status under S. 744, as well as those who overstayed a visa but legalize through other avenues. In addition to violating basic notions of fairness by denying benefits to those who worked and paid into the system, Section 2107(d) will likely dissuade immigrants from legalizing, further drive immigrants into poverty which shifts social costs onto states and cities, and negate positive economic benefits of comprehensive immigration reform.

Non-Citizen Defendants
The Committees on Immigration & Nationality Law, Criminal Courts, and Criminal Justice Operations issued a statement applauding the NY Court of Appeals decision in People v. Peque, Diaz, & Thomas, requiring a judge to advise a non-citizen criminal defendant that pleading to a felony may result in deportation. The Committee urged trial and appellate courts to extend the Peque ruling to misdemeanors and violations, and urged the State Legislature to amend New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 220.50(7) (regarding advisals to defendants) to include misdemeanors and violations, and to authorize automatic vacatur if the record establishes that the court failed to issue the statutory warning.

Legal Services for Immigrants in Deportation Proceedings
The Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law provided testimony before the New York City Council in support of examining models that would provide legal services for immigrants in deportation hearings. As the testimony explained, the City Bar supports appointed counsel for any indigent noncitizen facing deportation, especially those jailed in detention during proceedings. New York State already provides lawyers to those at risk of losing children in civil proceedings and those detained pretrial in criminal proceedings, and deportation proceedings often put both loss of children and jail at risk. In addition, appointed counsel in immigration proceedings would likely reduce the costs of taxpayer-supported immigration detention; help the fair administration of justice in enormously backlogged immigration courts; and economically benefit society by reducing social costs such as foster care and increasing the economic contributions of those with a right to stay here.

Protecting Social Welfare
In a joint letter to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, the Committees on Children & the Law; Civil Rights; Domestic Violence; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights; New York City Affairs; Sex & Law; and Social Welfare, as well as the Council on Children, outlined a number of suggested priorities for the administration which would serve to protect the social welfare and equal protection of New Yorkers. The suggestions include: 1) support breastfeeding mothers; 2) ensure access to subsistence benefits for the neediest New Yorkers; 3) improve the relationship between social welfare agencies and vulnerable New Yorkers such as individuals with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, sponsored immigrants and LGBTQ individuals; and 4) implement new tools to promote child wellness.

Committee Involvement--It's Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of career doors, some you may not even anticipate.

A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.

Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Updates include recent City Bar reports, news and upcoming programs in a particular practice area and are issued periodically to City Bar members.