ACLU Comment on Justice Department Notice to Halt Legal Orientation Program for Immigrants

April 10, 2018 10:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review made public today its plans to stop providing incarcerated immigrants with basic information about their rights in immigration court. The decision to halt the Legal Orientation Program will take effect at the end of this month.

Lorella Praeli, American Civil Liberties Union director of immigration policy and campaigns, said:

“Each week, the Trump administration finds new and cruel ways to hurt immigrants. The decision to indefinitely suspend the Legal Orientation Program will keep many incarcerated immigrants from understanding the rights guaranteed to them by the Constitution and immigration laws. It will also make it harder for them to find legal representation, further undercutting their right to due process. The program provides critical resources to immigrants who are isolated in remote detention facilities, face incredibly high stakes, and are navigating complex immigration laws and court procedures.”

The Vera Institute of Justice and 18 other nonprofits have administered LOP trainings at 38 detention facilities, with funding from DOJ’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. In the past, DOJ itself has advocated for the LOP. The agency has found that the detained individuals served under the program have completed immigration proceedings faster, lowering detention costs incurred by the government and taxpayers.

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