Saturday, September 30, 2017

AND NOW FOR SOME GOOD NEWS: Immigrants held in remote ICE facilities struggle to find legal aid before they’re deported

Without a lawyer, immigrants in the U.S. illegally can be deported within days of being detained by authorities. Attorneys say the practice of keeping them in facilities far from larger cities makes finding legal assistance difficult, if not impossible.
Judy London merges onto the freeway, heading northeast toward a high desert already baking under a recently risen sun. From West Los Angeles she faces a two-hour, 100-mile drive to the Adelanto Detention Facility to meet a client who is being deported. The commute time can double if rush-hour traffic is particularly bad.
London arrives at the facility and walks up a concrete path flanked by gravel to the detention facility's entrance. Once inside, rows of chairs and lockers greet her, as does a desk manned by a guard. She checks in but can’t meet her client yet – the facility is undergoing its daily head count and she has to wait until it’s finished.
It can take another hour from this moment. London still has to be cleared through security and have a guard escort her client.
Finally, she has to wait for an interview room. Adelanto Detention Facility has an average daily population of 1,785 but only a handful of rooms designated for lawyer-client meetings. And once a room is available, she’ll have to take all her notes by hand. The facility prohibits the use of phones, laptops and other electronic devices.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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