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Thread: Immigration and Customs improperly denying migrants access to free lawyers

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  1. #1
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    Immigration and Customs improperly denying migrants access to free lawyers

    RAICES: Immigration and Customs improperly denying migrants access to free lawyers

    John Moritz, Corpus Christi Caller TimesPublished 1:56 p.m. MT May 8, 2019 | Updated 1:56 p.m. MT May 8, 2019

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials opened the Karnes County Residential Center in South Texas on Aug. 1st. The 532-bed facility is one of three in the USA designed to hold immigrant women and children.

    Immigration and Customs Enforcement says policy changes were needed because of population increases, but disputes assertion that detainees are denied legal assistance.


    An organization that provides free legal assistance to migrants detained in federal immigration detention centers says recent policy changes at a facility in South Texas have limited the ability of lawyers to work with people needing legal aid.
    Lawyers affiliated with the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, or RAICES, said the policy changes at the center in Karnes County run counter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention standards and improperly deny migrants legal services.
    CALLER-TIMES ARCHIVE In this July 31, 2014 file photo, a suggestion box hangs on the wall at the Karnes County Residential Center. Officials in Jim Wells County a considering opening a similar facility in San Diego. (Photo: Eric Gay)

    "We request that ICE immediately address changes in policies and practice that have made this statutory right to consultation impossible for many persons detained at Karnes who seek to consult with RAICES and pro bono volunteers," according to a letter signed by a RAICES program director of five volunteer lawyers.
    The eight-page letter asserts that staff at Karnes is not allowing lawyers to meet with detainees in their rooms and have delayed detainees from meeting with lawyers. The letter also says RAICES teams have not been permitted to enter the Karnes rooms to meet with detainees "until there was a 1 to 1 ratio of prospective or current clients available to meet with each person on our team."

    "This has resulted in a sharp decrease in our capacity to meet the legal needs of persons detained at Karnes," the letter says.

    In a statement, ICE said some policy changes were needed because of the number of detainees at Karnes has risen in recent weeks.
    "Consequently, more residents are represented by private attorneys," the statement said. "To ensure attorney access to visitation, the number of daily group meetings were reduced.

    "No standard provisions have been changed at Karnes. Under ICE’s detention standards, the current Karnes attorney access program provides significantly more hours of legal visitation than recommended. ICE provides 12 hours of legal visitation every day."
    The RAICES letter quotes ICE's "Family Residential Standards," which the lawyers says provides for more liberal standards for lawyers seeking to assist detainees than is being practiced at Karnes.
    In calling for extending the time for legal visiting, the letter points to a section in the standards stating, “the facility administrator may permit a confidential meeting (with no staff present) involving the requester and two or more residents.” For a "group legal meeting," the lawyers say the standards state "the facility should grant such request to the greatest extent practicable."
    This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
    John C. Moritz covers Texas government and politics for the USA Today Network in Austin. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @JohnnieMo.

    More: Immigrant fathers and sons go on strike at South Texas family detention center
    More: Border Patrol: Despite new temporary shelters for migrants in Texas numbers rise
    More: Immigration officials open temporary housing in Texas for migrant families, children

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    Last edited by tonyklo; 05-08-2019 at 04:37 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member stoptheinvaders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyklo View Post
    RAICES: Immigration and Customs improperly denying migrants access to free lawyers
    This is just a smidgen of the never ending drama you get when you don't put the military on the border to keep as many of these out as possible.
    Beezer and hattiecat like this.
    You've got to Stand for Something or You'll Fall for Anything

  3. #3
    Moderator Beezer's Avatar
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    Apr 2016
    Give them a Docket Number, send them back, hear the case via Skype.

    Those lawyer can go down there and feed them full of lies to tell.


    stoptheinvaders and hattiecat like this.


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