For Immediate Release April 18, 2023
Contact: Alicia Vargas, (213) 653-1442, email@example.com
Los Angeles, CA - Immigrant Defenders Law Center was founded in 2015 on the belief that no immigrant should face immigration court alone. Unlike the constitutional right to an attorney in criminal court, there is currently no federally recognized right to an attorney in immigration court, even for immigrant children. This is true despite the dire consequences for those facing potential deportation and the subsequent harm to their family members.
The Fairness to Freedom Act would create a universal right to federally funded legal representation for individuals confronting deportation who cannot afford it themselves. We applaud Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Representative Norma Torres (CA), Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA), and Representative Grace Meng (NY) for introducing the Fairness to Freedom Act in the House and Senate.
“Immigrants are essential members of our communities. When an immigrant faces deportation from the country they call home, it impacts not only their own well-being, but also the lives of their families and entire communities. No immigrant should stand alone in immigration court when the consequences could mean permanent exile from their community, separation from their family, or deportation to dangerous situations that could cost them their life. As a society, we must commit to due process by righting the current imbalance in our immigration courtrooms," said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center. “We call on Congress to pass and the President to sign the Fairness to Freedom Act and thereby invest in the stability, health, and dignity of our communities,” she continued.
“I was detained for six months, and it was a very difficult time for me. When I met my lawyer, she took the time to sit with me and explain the law. It was important to have a lawyer because of the language barrier in my case. She helped me survive confinement in detention and, with her help, I was released on bond. Having an attorney explain my options and give my family peace of mind that I would not be facing immediate deportation made all the difference,” said Ramon Mancia, a client of Immigrant Defenders Law Center.