PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COUNCIL INCREASES FUNDING FOR IMMIGRANT SERVICES AND LANGUAGE ACCESS (ISLA) PROGRAM TO $300,000

May 30, 2019

Contact: Sheena Pegarido, 202.559.4431

media@caircoalition.org

Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition applauds move to provide more legal access and information to detained immigrants

WASHINGTON (May 30, 2019) — The Prince George’s County Council has voted to increase the funding for the Immigrant Services & Language Access (ISLA) program from $200,000 to $300,000.

The decision, led by Councilmember Deni Taveras, will help organizations like Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition provide legal access and information services to even more detained immigrants.

Through the strong leadership of Deni Taveras, the Prince George’s County Council has shown its commitment to protecting due process rights and defending detained immigrants, who are particularly vulnerable in the immigration system,” said Eric Lopez, Senior Attorney at CAIR Coalition. “Through this increased funding, CAIR Coalition will be able to ramp up its legal services operation, ensuring immigrant residents of the County who are detained due to their immigration status have appropriate legal representation, increasing their ability to obtain protection and remain safely in the United States.”

Between December 2017 and April 2019, the program provided legal consultations to 177 detained Prince George’s County residents through CAIR Coalition. The program also educated at least 600 detained people about legal services through Know Your Rights presentations. Additionally, the program was able to offer representation to 38 detained Prince George’s County residents. Three out of every four cases have a successful outcome at trial.

Created in 2017,  the Immigrant Services & Language Access Initiative (ISLA) is part of the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network, a national network of 12 geographically and politically diverse jurisdictions committed to employing an innovative model of public-private partnerships to address the pressing legal needs of our immigrant community members. 

Under the ISLA program, CAIR Coalition attorneys secured an emergency stay of removal for a long-term resident of the county, who is a grandmother to six U.S. citizen children. Additional victories include winning lawful status for a young man who was the primary caretaker for his father who has a severe disability and a grant of asylum for a father and his two young children. 

ISLA clients have lived in the U.S. for an average of 11.5 years, with some residing as many as 24 years in the U.S. 

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The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition strives to ensure equal justice for all immigrant men, women, and children at risk of detention and deportation in the DC metropolitan area and beyond through direct legal representation, know your rights presentations, impact and advocacy work, and the training of attorneys defending immigrants in the immigration and criminal justice arenas. More information can be found at http://www.caircoalition.org.