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Old 06-23-2017, 11:05 AM
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Default Pro bono project to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel

SPLC launches pro bono project to ensure detained immigrants have access to counsel

The Southern Poverty Law Center today announced a new project that will enlist and train lawyers to provide free legal representation to immigrants who have been detained in the Southeast and are facing deportation proceedings.

When fully implemented, it will be the largest detention center-based deportation defense project in the country.

The Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) will begin at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia, in collaboration with the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Immigration Council, the Innovation Law Lab and the American Immigration Representation Project.
It will then be expanded to other detention centers throughout the Southeast.

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Old 06-23-2017, 02:21 PM
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This is good. Right now, other areas are offering free continuing ed to attorneys willing to take immigration deportation issues mostly through the ACLU and state sub-divisions. Since the law is federal, it should travel well throughout the US should an attorney find themselves able to take a CLE seminar on this in one state but live or move to another state.

While the training is free, the lawyers are volunteer lawyers. This means the cost burden is on the attorneys. We can't work full-time at this sort of thing unless we are independently wealthy or there's funding through another project for a position. This creates quite the problem with representation, though the basic idea is to spread out the burden on the whole community of attorneys. With more and more states turning to mandatory pro bono requirements to maintain your law license, it may be do-able.

Sheesh, wish doctors, therapists, and the like had to do as many free hours of work to maintain their license. Hell, I'd take one hour of massage therapy after a day of pro bono litigation just to get the day of litigation out of my system. But, the massage therapist would expect to be paid for the work.

Anyway, grumbles aside - the more training there is out there, the more lawyers can take on this burden, spreading it out as much as possible so that needs are met and we can still work for fees and pay our bills.
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