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El Diario - Legal Representation for All

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El Diario - Legal Representation for All

Editorial: Legal Representation for All
El Diario La Prensa NY
November 4th, 2009

Read the whole editorial in English or Spanish.

With the Statue of Liberty only a short distance away, the immigration detention center at Varick Street reflects both outdated immigration policies and a judicial system that excludes the poor. This shameful state of affairs must be addressed in immigration reform.

Under current policies, non citizen immigrants can be held without legal representation and abruptly moved from state to state. The City Bar Justice Center began looking at the consequences of these policies after receiving a petition from 100 detainees citing deplorable conditions at the Varick facility.

In a report it issued on Monday, the Center states that more than 39 percent of the 158 detainees it interviewed could possibly claim relief from deportation proceedings. The Center found that 90 percent of those who were granted a bond—among them, workers and parents— were not able to post it, which meant they had to remain in detention. The vast majority of the detainees interviewed have been in the United States for more than 10 years.

[Read more here.]