Tuesday, August 12, 2008

National Immigrant Bond Fund

Fund Would Aid Those Seized In Workplace Raids, NPR, Aug. 11, 2008, tells about Bob Hildreth, a financier in Massachusetts, who was so moved by an immigration raid that arrested 400 undocumented workers in New Bedford last year that he helped found the National Immigrant Bond Fund.

"Bond is important, because it starts the whole process of realizing the rights you are guaranteed by the constitution of the United States," Hildreth says.

One is the right to obtain a lawyer. Immigrants are not entitled to a court-appointed lawyer for deportation proceedings, but often they rely on the pro-bono services of advocacy groups. The problem is that when they are in a remote federal detention center thousands of miles from family, the situation is a logistical nightmare.

One defense lawyer says the common practice of moving illegal immigrants across the country has created an "access-to-justice crisis." * * *

* * *

Backers acknowledge that many of those bailed out may not have a right to stay in the U.S. in the end, but they say some could qualify for asylum or could be helpful in convicting abusive employers.

No comments: