On December 22, 2010, U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee ruled that two men with severe disabilities must be provided with representation in their deportation cases.
The ACLU of Southern California is optimistic after the ruling as they hope someday all mentally disabled detainees will receive representation. Immigration courts are not required to provide attorney representation for individuals. A current lawsuit filed by the ACLU alleges, “Federal officials have deprived the detainees of their Constitutional right to due process.” They argue mentally disabled detainees are unable to get a fair hearing without representation. As a result of the Judges’ ruling, the Federal Government will have to find pro-bono representation or pay for representation for the two men.
MVP Law Group supports Judge Gee’s ruling to provide representation for the two mentally disabled men and is supportive of the ACLU’s suit to require representation for all mentally disabled detainees.