3-15-2012By Annie Sovcik
Refugee Protection Program
Too often, asylum seekers who come to the United States are stuck in jails or jail-like facilities without knowing their rights or understanding U.S. immigration procedures. To address this problem, the Department of Justice established the Legal Orientation Program (LOP), which has received bi-partisan praise for providing information to immigrants in detention. The program also coordinates pro bono legal counsel.
The LOP, a lifeline for asylum seekers, helps people fleeing from religious, political, ethnic, and other forms of persecution: torture survivors, victims of gender-based violence, and other people who need safe haven in the United States.
But despite its success, the program is available in only 25 of the 250 detention centers in the United States—reaching about 15% of immigration detainees. That’s why President Obama is proposing to expand this program in fiscal year (FY) 2013.
We’ve been supporting refugees since 1978, so we know how valuable this program is. Help us make the Legal Orientation Program available in all immigration detention centers nationwide. Tell your representatives to support its expansion in Fiscal Year 2013.