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Legal Projects

Detainee Assistance Project

The Detainee Assistance Project provides advice and brief service to detainees in custody, provides full representation for detained clients who qualify for asylum or other relief, and presents appeals at the Board of Immigration Appeals.

In recent years, record numbers of immigrants have been arrested, detained, and deported. These immigrants are held in specially-designated federal prisons, immigrant detention facilities, and local jails. Although the number of removals each fiscal year averaged 40,000 between 1892 and 2008, that average jumps to 396,000 between 2009 and 2012. The increase in immigrant detainees has exacerbated the already-limited access to affordable, appropriate immigration legal services.

The Detainee Assistance Project accepts calls from immigrant detainees that are in custody, providing advice and brief service to every individual that reaches us. Individuals that are found to qualify for protection and relief may be eligible to receive full representation, where ILCM represents the individual in court and, if necessary, through the appeals process. Oftentimes, detainees are longtime Minnesota residents, productive employees, and parents of U.S. citizen children, who are detained for a civil crime such as driving without a license and then face deportation proceedings.

An ILCM client of this project was recently featured in the Star Tribune.