Please attribute the following statement to Carmen Iguina, staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California, following the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors' 4-1 vote to devote county funds to provide legal aid for immigrants in deportation proceedings:
"Today, Los Angeles County has stood on the right side of history in recognizing that no one should face exile or incarceration without an attorney.
Every day, thousands of immigrants face detention and deportation in California, and the majority stand in court alone. By establishing the L.A. Justice Fund, Los Angeles is taking an important first step in ensuring that this due process crisis is remedied. And in doing so, we keep families together and communities thriving.
The board has called for reports on the most vulnerable groups to protect. We urge the supervisors to start by recognizing the vulnerability of those in detention. About 70 percent stand in court without an attorney, and if given this important protection, they succeed five times as often.
Fairness and due process are two of the cornerstone values of our country. Today, the board has affirmed those values and stood strong alongside some of the most vulnerable members of our community."