Our justice systems should treat everyone with dignity and respect. Unfortunately, the federal government forces immigrants facing deportation to make their case before a judge alone every single day, without providing them with legal representation. This tips the scales of justice against immigrants fighting to keep their families together, putting their liberty and lives at stake.
Many people have valid claims to remain in the country, but are deported nonetheless because they cannot afford to hire an attorney who can effectively make their case. Research shows that immigrants with a qualified immigration attorney representing them are five times more likely to win their immigration cases than immigrants without an attorney, but most Californians facing deportation cannot afford a lawyer or cannot access one.
Fortunately, California will bring a semblance of justice to these proceedings and give people a fighting chance to win their case by allocating funding for deportation defense in the state budget. California will allocate $15 million for legal services for immigrants, including deportation defense.
6/27/17 - Governor signs budget
5/11/17 - Governor introduces Revised Budget with allocation for deportation defense funding: