RMIAN Deplores Trump Administration’s Ending of Legal Orientation Program
We believe that justice for immigrants means justice for all.
April 11, 2018
Contact: Mekela Goehring, firstname.lastname@example.org, (720) 370-9102
Yesterday the Rocky Mountain Immigrant Advocacy Network (RMIAN) learned that the Department of Justice is ending funding for the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), effective April 30, 2018. The Legal Orientation Program provides essential legal information to individuals in civil immigration detention who are navigating complex immigration deportation proceedings, including here in Colorado.
“Ending the Legal Orientation Program is a gross injustice to individuals in civil immigration detention throughout the United States, and a betrayal of our nation’s fundamental commitment to due process and access to justice for all. Here in Colorado, RMIAN is able to provide critical legal information to over 2,300 individuals in civil immigration detention every year through the LOP. For the vast majority of these individuals, the opportunity to talk to RMIAN staff members is their only opportunity to learn about their legal rights, understand removal proceedings, and be connected to pro bono attorneys. This decision is antithetical to who we are as a country and our commitment to fundamental fairness,” said RMIAN’s Executive Director Mekela Goehring.
RMIAN has been providing legal services to detained individuals through the Legal Orientation Program for nearly fifteen years. RMIAN was selected by the Department of Justice in 2003 as one of six pilot programs nationwide to implement the Legal Orientation Program. Through a demonstrated track record for both improving court efficiency and promoting access to justice, the LOP subsequently was expanded to 38 sites throughout the United States.
RMIAN will continue to tirelessly fight for the legal rights of individuals in civil immigration detention here in Colorado and throughout the United States. Every day RMIAN sees the profound impact legal information, and the connection to pro bono attorneys, has on individuals’ cases and justice in the immigration court system. RMIAN stands for inclusion, equality, and justice and will fight for due process and equal access to justice for all.
RMIAN is a nonprofit organization that serves low-income men, women, and children in immigration proceedings. RMIAN promotes knowledge of legal rights, provides effective representation to ensure due process, works to improve detention conditions, and promotes a more humane immigration system, including alternatives to detention.