Monday, November 2, 2009
Fragility of Immigration Law Practice
Always over our heads is the threat of detention for our clients. "Immigrant Jail Tests US View of Legal Access," NYT, p A1, Nov 2, 2009. In Greenwich Village immigrants detained while their cases are resolved live in conditions worse than US prisons. They are given less than they need to eat, and forced to clean to earn $1 a day which they can use to buy commissary meals. Legal counsel is not a right. They can be moved arbitrarily across the country to other detention centers, even after they find local counsel. Counsel often will not follow them across the country. Matthew Chandler DHS spokesperson admits that the detention system the Obama administration inherited is "inadequate." DHS wants to overhaul the system with better legal access, and a less penal system.