The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday by 4-to-1 to finance the L.A. Justice Fund, a legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants in removal proceedings. With the vote, Los Angeles joined a growing number of jurisdictions, including New York City, San Francisco, Sacramento and Austin, that provide publicly funded attorneys to deportation defendants.
Unlike in the criminal courts, in immigration court, defendants have no guaranteed right to a lawyer. Those who cannot afford private counsel are left to themselves to navigate a body of law that is often compared to the tax code in its level of complexity. “No Angeleno should face detention and deportation without a lawyer by their side,” said Lindsay Toczylowski, Executive Director of Immigrant Defenders Law Center. Full story here