News Story (Texas)
December 2, 2019
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center
Thousands of people are detained in five detention centers in the El Paso sector, which covers West Texas and New Mexico. Many of the facilities are in rural areas, far from law offices. A lot of detainees are seeking asylum. Unlike in criminal court, they’re not entitled to attorneys; they have to find their own lawyers. The demand for legal representation is high.
Linda Corchado is director of legal services at Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, in El Paso. “Nonprofits like ours, we certainly do the best that we can, but the need is very great,” Corchado said. “We don’t have enough people on the ground hitting the streets and really helping as many people as they can.”
Beyond a few dedicated nonprofits like Las Americas, there aren’t many free or low cost legal services in the region. There are no huge law firms with pro bono programs. El Paso doesn’t have a law school; the closest one is hours away from the border in Albuquerque.