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Matthew Kolken on Deportation And Removal

Private Prison Corp Blocking Immigrants from Seeing Lawyers

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Via the Huffington Post:

"It’s a basic principle of the U.S. justice system that all people, no matter their citizenship status, are guaranteed due process. Yet, 94 percent of immigrants in this prison-like detention center lack representation. And both U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and its for-profit prison operator, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), continue to erect barriers that prevent them from finding help.

In March, a coalition of pro bono attorneys, law school clinical programs, non-profit legal organizations and private immigration lawyers urged ICE, CCA and Stewart County to fulfill the terms of a 2014 contract requiring CCA to install video teleconferencing and to institute policies and procedures ensuring that detainees have access to representation. ICE responded with a brief letter in late May that failed to address these pressing legal concerns and instead simply promised to repair a couple of broken telephones.

Anybody who is detained has the right to confer with a lawyer. But for years, CCA guards have prevented attorneys from meeting with detainees by creating unreasonable delays. Even when a lawyer succeeds in setting up a meeting with a detainee, he or she must speak to the client via phone through a Plexiglass barrier - and the phones are often broken, leaving the lawyer to yell his advice through the Plexiglass. A number of lawyers have stopped practicing at the detention center, citing inconsistent practices involving attorney-client meetings and harassment by facility staffers."

Click here for the rest of the story.

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Updated 07-06-2016 at 09:29 AM by MKolken

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