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The Philadelphia Tribune
July 17, 2019

Philly pilots program to pay for some detained immigrants’ legal defense
By Laura Benshoff

“Philadelphia has emerged as a fearless leader in local response to shifting immigration policy and federal immigration enforcement,” Mayor Jim Kenney said Tuesday during the announcement at the National Constitution Center. “This new deportation defense fits in with other pro-immigrant policies we embrace and continue to advance.” Vera and the city have ponied up $100,000 apiece to support two pro bono attorneys: one with the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center in York, Pa., and one with Nationalities Service Center in Philadelphia. Each is expected to carry a caseload of roughly 30 clients. The program, called the Safety and Fairness for Everyone Network is in the process of recruiting funders to continue offering legal services in Pennsylvania beyond the one-year mark. The new initiative will focus on some of the most difficult cases — those in which immigrants have already been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and must go through their legal process from inside a network of detention facilities scattered across Pennsylvania. Those hearings take place at an immigration court located at the York County Prison, which had 535 cases pending as of May 2019, according to the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2019
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