The continuing struggle to enact comprehensive reforms of the United States' broken immigration system is continuing to heat up, with the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee recently sending a reform bill to the full Senate. But one part of the immigrant community has been left fuming that their concerns were ignored.
As if their legal circumstances were not already complicated enough, it recently has been revealed that California immigrants confined to detention facilities may not be able to afford to contact anyone on the outside world. The connection fee for a telephone call alone is $3.25 for each call. The inmates are then charged a perminute rate for their phone calls, and a 20 minute conversation with their children under the best of circumstances may end up costing them around $14.
It is not the same as the right to an attorney for a criminal suspect who cannot afford one, but it's a start. Certain immigrants facing deportation proceedings now have the opportunity to obtain free representation before the courts as they fight their cases.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials do sometimes make mistakes. One United States citizen was deported to Mexico because he was misidentified. It appears that he could not participate in his own defense because he suffered from a number of psychiatric and cognitive disabilities.