Justice Dept ending legal-advice program for immigrants in detention
On April 10th, we learned that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his Department of Justice will indefinitely suspend the Legal Orientation Program (LOP). Since 2003, LOP has provided funding for nonprofit organizations to conduct know-your-rights presentations and legal screenings for individuals facing deportation hearings while in immigration detention. While LOP does not allow for legal representation, it is one of the few resources the federal government makes available to individuals facing deportation hearings and it provided assistance to over 53,000 people last year.
NWIRP has been a provider of services under LOP since the program started under the George W. Bush administration. Yesterday, we learned that, effective at the end of the month, DOJ will cut the funding that supported four of our staff members to provide basic legal rights information and screenings to community members held at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma. This is just the latest example of this Administration seeking to undermine even the most basic protections for those facing deportation hearings.
We want you to know that while the President and his Attorney General may be able to take away these resources, we will not abandon those who are facing deportation. We will do everything in our power to maintain as much capacity as possible to ensure that community members at NWDC will continue to have access to information about their legal rights and be connected to legal resources.
However, we will only be able to do this with your support. We invite you to make a contribution to defend the rights of immigrants today.
Photo by Gage Skidmore