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Advocates say ICE continues to deny Haitians detained at New Mexico facility access to legal help

Haitian Refugees

Magazine, Immigration, Daily Kos

Because of a letter sent to federal immigration officials earlier this month, an attorney was able to provide an in-person legal presentation to a group of Haitian asylum-seekers who have been detained at a New Mexico detention facility without any access to assistance. This presentation was among the demands outlined in the document submitted by a number of immigrant and civil rights advocates.

But in a second letter this week, they say that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has failed to comply with the remaining demands, including a halt to deportations until detained migrants can meet with an attorney. “We remain deeply concerned that these individuals are being deprived of their legal rights, including access to counsel, and are being subject to disparate treatment in their removal proceedings,” advocates wrote in this second letter.

“Through the first letter, advocates succeeded in prompting ICE to grant pro bono attorney Allegra Love access to provide an in-person legal rights presentation to a group of detained Haitians,” Love, Innovation Law Lab, National Immigration Project, Haitian Bridge Alliance, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Mexico, and the American Immigration Council said in a statement. “However, ICE has failed to comply with five additional demands, all of which are in line with minimal standards of access to legal support.”

“The unmet demands include halting the deportation of Haitians until they have had an opportunity to consult with counsel and ensuring their access to confidential legal calls to counsel and to the pro bono legal hotline run by the El Paso Immigration Collaborative,” they continued. “ICE’s refusal to meet these demands reveals its commitment to harming and deporting Black Haitian migrants at all costs, and amount to racist discrimination.”

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