Rutgers Law School program offers free legal representation to detained immigrants
Published February 15, 2019 | Manny Faces
Rutgers Law School is participating in a statewide program designed to provide free, quality legal representation to low-income immigrants who are being detained with the threat of deportation.
Rutgers joins other area partners of the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative, including Legal Services of New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, and Seton Hall Law School. Attorney Pina Cirillo, who has previously worked with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School, was hired in January.
Cirillo, a 2015 graduate of Rutgers Law School, has already been meeting with detainees. She emphasized the need for such services, noting that while in criminal proceedings those who cannot afford a lawyer can receive free or low-cost legal aid, those protections do not extend to immigration court, even if those in jeopardy are legal green card holders. Her clients, she states, range from “long-time, legal residents of New Jersey to recent arrivals fleeing persecution in Central America.”
According to the initiative’s description, “the New Jersey pilot program will show the value Of providing legal representation for all, so that proceedings are fair and no one is deported simply because they cannot afford to hire a lawyer.”
For more information, contact the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Rutgers Law School at 973-353-5292.