Attorneys advocate for free legal services for immigrants
LACLJ Supervising Attorney Michelle Carey addresses the crowd outside the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Los Angeles Field Office.
LACLJ is committed to providing high quality and free legal services to immigrants who have suffered significant violence and trauma. On March 21st, LACLJ stood with other attorneys and community partners to protest the lack of free legal representation for immigrants facing deportation. Many immigrants have fled violence in their home country or suffered trauma in the US that may entitle them to valid immigration relief. Absent an attorney, many immigrants are unable to benefit from available relief and are consequently deported.
A majority of LACLJ clients are immigrants and approximately 20% are from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras – a region that has been identified as the most violent area in the world. Michelle Carey, who oversees LACLJ’s Immigration Program, addressed the crowd of 100 at the rally. She remarked, “These are people who are striving to support their families and, in many situations, desperately pleading for safety. It’s appalling to see situations where so many of the people being targeted for removal are people who have survived terrible forms of trauma.”
In addition to free legal representation for those facing deportation, attorneys highlighted the need to grant Temporary Protected Status to Central American immigrants and an end to the inhumane treatment of LGBT immigrants in detention.