Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Elsie Law's Daily Dose Of The Law

A clandestine prison in New York City is reportedly holding 250 detainees. According to The New York Times, the immigration jail is housed in a federal office building near lower Manhattan; and few people are aware of its existence. The Times states that the "facility takes in 11,000 men a year, most of them longtime New Yorkers facing deportation without a lawyer...Galvanized by [a] petition, the bar association sent volunteers to the jail to offer legal counsel to detainees."

The volunteer lawyers have found that most of the detainees have a legitimate claim to stay in the U.S. However, the system allows immigrant detainees to be imprisoned without the privilege of legal representation. They can also be moved to various facilities around the country without notice. This makes it very difficult for the immigration prisoners to legally defend themselves. Attention is being brought to this situation, in hopes that it can be rectified soon.

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