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Foster, Deutch Introduce Legislation to Protect Immigrant Rights

Feb 26, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) re-introduced the Immigrant Detainee Legal Rights Act. The legislation would require immigration detention centers to inform immigrant detainees of their legal rights within five days of their arrival at the facilities. It would also require the Attorney General to develop and implement legal orientation programs in every detention center that houses immigrants.

Not only would this legislation provide fundamental legal protection to vulnerable individuals, studies show it would also save taxpayer money. According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), for every $2 million we invest in legal orientation programs, we save $20 million due to expedited court proceedings and better coordination of legal services.

“It is unacceptable for immigrants to be placed into detention without being given information about their legal rights, or an understanding of how immigration courts work,” said Foster. “America has always stood for the principle of due process for all people, but our immigrant detention system isn’t meeting that standard. This legislation would help make sure immigrants know their rights and make the entire process more efficient and fairer so that it better reflects the values of our nation.”

“Immigrants’ rights don't end when they are detained," said Deutch. "Too often, detained immigrants are denied any basic information on why they're being detained and what rights they have. This bill guarantees an important protection for immigrants so that they are given an understanding of their rights from the moment they are detained."

A copy of the legislation is available here.


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