May 25, 2021 – Diocesan Migrant and Refugee Services Among 21 Legal Services Contractors Calling for Restoration of Legal Access Programming in the Immigration Courts
DMRS’ Legal Orientation Program (LOP) offers basic information for adult detainees regarding the removal (deportation) process, bond, forms of relief from removal, how to accelerate the removal process, how to represent themselves in immigration court (pro se representation), and how to obtain legal representation.
The program offers four levels of service:
- Group orientations provide a broad overview of the immigration court process, bonds, relief from removal, and ways to expedite removal.
- Individual orientations give individual detainees the opportunity to ask more detailed questions regarding the court process and specific forms of relief from removal.
- Self-help workshops prepare detainees who are representing themselves for their cases and allow them to practice for court hearings with other detainees pursuing similar defenses.
- Referrals to pro bono (volunteer) attorneys are made for detainees who are unable to represent themselves or whose cases could especially benefit from legal representation. NOTE: If a case is referred to an attorney in DMRS’ Removal Defense Program, the decision regarding whether or not to accept the case for representation lies with the attorney to whom the case is referred.
For many people facing deportation, the stakes are high. They may have lived in the U.S. for a long time, they may be U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, and/or they may have family members who are U.S. citizens. Those who do not have the resources to hire an attorney must represent themselves or obtain free legal services to help them navigate complex immigration laws. Educating detainees enables them to make more informed decisions by ensuring that they understand the removal process and what their options are.
The LOP also maintains a library of legal resources available in several languages, including English, Spanish, Arabic, French, and simplified Chinese/Mandarin.
Legal Orientation Program staff serve two detention centers:
El Paso Service Processing Center
Otero Service Processing Center
If you know someone who is detained, and you would like one of our staff members to visit them and provide the services listed above (not including legal representation), please call (915) 532-3975 x246 and leave a message with the following information:
- Full name of the detained person
- A# of the detained person
- Name of the detention center above where they are currently detained
- Your name
- Your daytime contact number
Staff will be able to see the detained individual within a few business days and contact you if further information is required.
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