Saturday, September 6, 2014

Genuine patriots- volunteer lawyers at detention centers -

The young volunteer lawyers representing refugee women and children not the angry flag wavers in San Diego are the genuine patriots. - gwc
In Remote Detention Center, a Battle on Fast Deportations -

ARTESIA, N.M. — Sitting before a small video screen in a bare room in a remote corner of New Mexico, a young Honduran woman told her story this week to an immigration judge in Virginia. She had been serially raped, she said, spat upon and relentlessly hounded by a drug-dealing husband who regarded her as his property.
“I felt a fear of him so terrible it’s difficult to explain,” the woman, Heidy Lara Carballo, told the judge in a hearing on Thursday. When she last saw her husband before she fled to the United States, she said, he was circling their house, firing shots into the air, as she tried to hide inside.
“If I go back to Honduras, it is certain death,” Ms. Lara Carballo said.
The judge agreed, and in the first case to be decided since this center opened in June, she granted Ms. Lara Carballo’s request for asylum, saying she had presented a “textbook case” for being allowed to stay in the United States.
Ms. Lara Carballo’s case and others being heard here are changing the nature and purpose of a temporary detention center that the Obama administration set up in windowless barracks behind high fences for women and children caught crossing the border illegally. The plan was to hold the detainees briefly until they could be deported, sending a message to Central American families that illegal migrants would not be allowed to stay.
The transformation is partly due to a corps of volunteer lawyers who have come to argue the immigrants’ cases. Alarmed at the rush to deport the families, the lawyers, who call themselves a fire brigade, travel here from cities as far away as Denver, Portland and San Diego. At first, they were barely allowed to work inside the center, so they filed a federal lawsuit.
Now lawyers and the government are battling over the migrants’ deportations. Until recently, asylum officers here had found that less than 40 percent of the women had credible fears of persecution if forced to return home. But the lawyers, who have now counseled nearly 300 women, contend that as many at 80 percent could win asylum claims.
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