To our complete ‘shock’, the liberal bastion of California’s northern shores has just announced that it will create a brand new branch of the Public Defender’s office to specifically defend illegal immigrants in deportation cases. Adding insult to injury, taxpayers will have to pony up an additional $200,000 each year to cover the cost of 3 public defenders and a paralegal, all of whom will be dedicated to making sure that federal laws are ignored.
As an NBC affiliate in the Bay Area notes, the new office is expected to handle just 50 clients per year of the 1,500 detained immigrants that currently have scheduled court dates. All of which just means that taxpayers should expect that $200,000 price tag to grow exponentially over the coming years.
Unlike in criminal court, immigrants are not automatically entitled to legal representation in deportation proceedings. However, studies have shown that detained immigrants with attorneys are six times more likely to win their cases.
While San Francisco also provides funding to nonprofits specializing in legal aid to immigrants, the public defender’s office is intended to serve those already in detention, a demographic the nonprofits generally don’t serve.
The unit’s attorneys are each expected to handle around 50 clients per year — a small portion of the estimated 1,500 detained immigrants who currently have court dates in San Francisco, around 85 percent of whom do not have attorneys.
Meanwhile, thanks to a press release issued by the San Francisco Public Defender’s office, we learn that the enforcement of federal laws is apparently “against our core values as Americans and San Franciscans”…who knew?
Adachi noted that in the 100 days since President Donald Trump signed his executive order expanding immigration enforcement priorities, immigration arrests have risen 38 percent nationwide.
“Mass deportation is against our core values as Americans and San Franciscans,” Adachi said. “Due process still means something in this country and we are not going to let the federal government ship off our friends and neighbors without a fight.”
Unlike in criminal court, non-citizens in immigration detention do not have the right to court appointed counsel, explained Francisco Ugarte, managing attorney of the Public Defender’s Immigration Unit. Approximately half of the 1,500 detained immigrants with court dates in San Francisco have been in the U.S. for more than a decade. More than 50 percent have one or more close family members who are citizens.
“These are longtime residents who work, attend school, and contribute to our city,” Ugarte said. “Without this program, most would be forced to defend themselves in court against trained government lawyers.”
Can we also declare that ‘grand larceny’ is “against our core values as Americans” because we think it’s absolutely bogus that we can’t have a couple of Lamborghini’s just because we’re “economically challenged.”