Legal Orientation Program for Immigrant Detainees (LOP)
ProBAR currently operates a Legal Orientation Program for individuals detained at the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, Texas, and the El Valle Detention Facility in Raymondville, Texas. The program is funded by the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and administered by the Vera Institute of Justice. The Legal Orientation Program was created by EOIR in 2003, in order to facilitate legal assistance from non-profit organizations for immigrant detainees in removal proceedings. Immigrants in removal proceedings face extraordinary obstacles in proving their claims for relief, including language barriers, misinformation about U.S. laws and court procedures, and a lack of financial resources. For asylum seekers, many risk being deported back to places where they may face persecution and even death. Others face returning to a country they left as small children. The Legal Orientation Program seeks to improve access to legal services for the enormous number of immigrant detainees in removal proceedings each year through workshops on immigration law and procedure, referrals to pro bono attorneys for individuals who may qualify for relief from removal, and the distribution of self-help legal resources to individuals appearing in immigration proceedings pro se.
Through ProBAR’s Legal Orientation Program, unrepresented detainees receive invaluable assistance in understanding their legal situations, and gain access to a variety of legal resources, enabling them to appear in Immigration Court with a better understanding of the court process and their legal rights.