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The Pro Bono Detainee Project a collaborative effort
of Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska, Catholic
Charities of the Archdiocese of Omaha, and numerous
volunteer attorneys is proud to present a free
Continuing Legal Education course with the support of
the Omaha Immigration Court, Creighton University
School of Law, the University of Nebraska College of
Law, and the American Immigration Lawyers
The Pro Bono Detainee Project seeks to help improve the rate of representation of detained immigrants before the Omaha Immigration Court. The Project also coordinates monthly trainings for detainees in the Douglas County Corrections Facility and provides basic immigration training for pro bono attorneys.
This training is open to all attorneys who agree to handle at least one pro bono case referred from the Project within one year following the training.
For more information, click here to view to the flyer.
Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska (JFON-NE) is encouraged by the bi-partisan immigration reform bill released yesterday that provides a path to citizenship for millions of aspiring Americans in the U.S. who are currently without options. It is clear that the current immigration system is broken; and the Senate bill S.744, titled “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013,” is a step in the right direction.
Although the bill is not perfect, we applaud the Gang of Eight’s efforts to strike a compromise in order to achieve a comprehensive solution. Emiliano Lerda, Executive Director of JFON-NE, states that “we have been waiting a long time for comprehensive immigration reform, and now is the time to begin to fix our current dysfunctional immigration system.”
Indeed, the bill, among other things, would provide appointed counsel in immigration removal proceedings for indigent immigrant children and the mentally ill, who have virtually no way of obtaining attorneys to represent them. It would allow noncitizens who are unlawfully present and who entered the U.S. before December 31, 2011, to get on a path to citizenship. It would significantly decrease the time a lawful permanent resident must currently wait to be reunited with his/her spouse and children. And, it would eliminate the one-year filing deadline for asylum seekers, a rule that has worked to deny protection to people fleeing persecution who fail to timely apply.
In the coming months, we sincerely hope that there is constructive debate over the bill with the goal of improving it to clear the way for passage in the Senate and House of Representatives. Charles Ellison, Regional Attorney of JFON-NE, states that “although this compromise measure does not contain all the changes we would like to see, it would produce many positive changes and we believe it is a great start to the process of overhauling a system that has long needed repair.”
Moises, a native of Guatemala, fled his country in 1993 when he was just 21 years old. He left because of the civil war that was raging at the time, a war that took over 200,000 lives. Just months after his arrival, he brought himself to the attention of U.S. authorities by applying for political asy-lum. However, he did not receive an interview until 2007, fourteen years later. When he did receive a hearing, his claim was denied in large part because the civil war ended in 1996. With the denial of his claim, he was placed in removal proceedings.