Jun 3, 2020
Because of Philadelphia’s strong leadership, the Pennsylvania Immigrant Family Unity Project (PAIFUP) provides publicly funded legal representation to immigrants in court. Publicly funded attorneys are supported by an overwhelming majority — 87% — of people surveyed in the US and are many immigrants’ last line of defense against deportation and being separated from their families. Especially during a global pandemic, legal representation in court can mean the difference between life or death for immigrants, with significant public health considerations for the broader community.
However, the proposed revised executive budget eliminated all funding for PAIFUP — $200,000 — in FY21. Help restore funding for PAIFUP and ask Philadelphia City Councilmembers and Mayor Kenney to commit to continuing to protect Philly’s immigrants, families, and communities.
IN THE MEDIA
"As the Trump administration has gone all-out to block and limit immigration — restricting asylum, cutting refugee admissions, building a border wall — coalitions of elected leaders, university scholars, and philanthropic organizations have pushed to create a defender-like system."
"PAIFUP is holding out hope that Philadelphia City Council will restore the local funding when it considers the mayor’s budget in June."
"They put people on buses and planes without proper protection," said Thompson, an attorney with the Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. "It shows a disregard for immigrants' lives, and a disregard for their rights."
"Of the 125 individuals screened for legal counsel by PAIFUP since its creation, Eaton [NSC Supervising Attorne] said 41 got hearings, resulting in 15 releases and one outright victory that granted the individual permanent legal status. "