The Los Angeles County Public Defender’s Office, which provides criminal defense attorneys for those who can't afford them, is woefully under-resourced to handle cases involving noncitizens.

L.A. has the largest public defender's office in the nation. But of its 700 attorneys, only two are experts in the incredibly complex immigration laws of the U.S. This enormous inadequacy in in-house expertise can lead to disasters for immigrants.

Even minor misdemeanor offenses — such as shoplifting, turnstile jumping, or public urination — can trigger deportation of noncitizens if not handled with the support and oversight of an immigration law expert.

"Providing an adequate number of immigration law experts is not only humane, it’s the law," says Andrés Kwon, author of "Defend L.A." and an attorney and Equal Justice Works Emerson fellow with the ACLU SoCal.

Read the report: Defend L.A.: Transforming Public Defense in the Era of Mass Deportation.

Read the executive summary.

Read the report appendices.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 5:30am

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2018 is a critical election year. This year, the June Primary and November General Election could result in a set of new County, State and National representatives who align with ACLU values, policies and investment goals around a variety of issues.

We need your help to make sure voters of color and young people get out to vote. And that we move forward our agenda for Smart Justice, protecting vulnerable immigrant and homeless neighbors and showing that Orange County Values are for Equality, Family and Fairness.

Join the effort as we call on critical voters in Southern California to make their voices heard (and bring your friends!).

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim
511 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805

We will be canvassing from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., please join us however long you can.

Lunch and snacks will be provided.

Event Date

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 4:15pm

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Unitarian Universalist Church in Anaheim


511 S. Harbor Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92805
United States

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Friday, May 11, 2018 - 4:15pm

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