Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Giving immigrants better legal rights in the face of deportation

It seems President Obama's still steamrolling over Bush-era policies. This latest reversal is concerning a rule that limited access to "effective lawyers" for immigrants who were facing deportation. Guess what – if you're an immigrant, you now have the right to have legal help if you're about to be kicked out. Sounds kinda basic, no?

The rule was issued in the waning days of the Bush administration, angering immigrants rights groups that immediately sought to persuade the incoming Democratic administration to discard it.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder did just that, saying he is vacating the order issued by predecessor Michael Mukasey which said that immigrants facing deportation do not have an automatic right to an effective lawyer.

Holder said he is also instructing the Justice Department to begin working on a new rule.

Charles Kuck, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, called the move "the beginning of the restoration of due process in the immigration system."

While there's still a very good chance you'll get your ass kicked out of the country if you actually did something bad enough to face deportation, at least the innocents who haven't done anything really wrong will have a chance to fight for their right to stay.


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