DOJ to suspend program that provides legal advice to detained immigrants

DOJ to suspend program that provides legal advice to detained immigrants
(Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Department of Justice has announced plans to suspend a program that provides legal advice to immigr ants in custody.

The General Orientation Legal Program, run by the Vera Institute of Justice gives legal advice and explains the legal system to immigr ants at ICE centers across the country.

It also includes a special court help desk for non-detained immigr ants.

Advocacy groups say they're concerned it could be a way to undercut the rights of immigr ants looking to stay in the US.

The department said it decided to pull funding of the program to give it time to review the program's effectiveness.

The local consulate's office said it respects the department's decision. However, officials there want to remind the Hispanic community that they provide similar services.

"We provide them information about the services in their own communities because our consulate network is fully connected, real time," said the consul, Ricardo Pineda. "So we can provide information about happenings or people that they can get advice from … being in Anchorage, AK, or Miami or Texas or whichever place in the US."

The department plans to officially end the program at the end of April. It's unknown how long the review will take.

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