U.S. Must Give Convicts Lawyers To Fight Deportation
DECEMBER 28, 2010
Shy of her first anniversary on the federal bench, an Obama-appointed judge known for promoting “racial tolerance” has ordered U.S. taxpayers to provide criminally convicted immigrants with “diminished mental capacities” lawyers to fight deportation.
The ruling is believed to be the first ordering government-financed legal representation in an immigration case. Foreign nationals embroiled in deportation proceedings must pay for their own attorney, unlike criminal defendants who get court-appointed lawyers—financed by American taxpayers—as part of due process when they can’t afford it.
In this case a southern
The older man man, Guillermo Gomez-Sanchez, has various criminal convictions and served part of a two-year prison sentence before being released on bail. Among his offenses are battery against a police officer and assault. The younger man, Jose Franco-Gonzalez, completed a prison sentence for assault with a deadly weapon and his immigrant rights attorney claims he’s “moderately retarded” and doesn’t know his birth date or how to tell time.
In their lawsuit the men assert that federal officials deprived them of their constitutional right to due process and violated federal anti-discrimination laws designed to protect people with disabilities. Their pro bono lawyers at a nonprofit that promotes justice for low-income immigrants claim thousands of people with “severe mental disabilities” are detained without proper counsel nationwide.
Gee, the first Chinese-American woman to serve as a federal judge, opened the door to offering many of them taxpayer-financed attorneys, even if they have been convicted of serious crimes. This sort of advocacy is what got Gee, a
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