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GEO Group Accused of Denying Access to Detainees

GEO Group Accused of Denying Access to Detainees

Immigrant advocates recently filed a federal complaint accusing the Geo Group, one of the largest private prison companies in the United States, of preventing immigrant detainees from meeting with attorneys. The Geo Group operates Adelanto Detention Facility (ADF), an immigrant detention center in California, where advocates claim that prison staff work together to retaliate against certain attorneys by denying them access to their clients. The complaint went to the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties at the Department of Homeland Security. Since immigration proceedings are classified as civil rather than criminal matters, detainees do not have a Sixth Amendment right to counsel. According to the American Immigration Council, just 14% of detained immigrants between 2007 and 2012 had the benefit of legal representation. The complaint claims that the Geo Group has blocked access to detainees for some attorneys and volunteers after they have publicly complained or criticized the private detention center. This is not the first time that advocates have accused the Geo Group of preventing attorneys from meeting with their detained clients. In 2015, the ACLU and another immigrant advocate group issued cease and desist letters to the Geo Group and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after they shut down visitation programs and denied attorneys access to detainees. These problems also seem to have increased with the dawn of the Trump Administration; immigration attorneys and families of detainees alike have reported significantly longer wait times to see detainees and visitation denials on a more frequent basis. As one advocate noted, it will be more important than ever over the next few months that immigrants have access to legal counsel, given the expected heightened enforcement of immigration laws. As immigration cases are difficult and complex, you are likely to be more successful if you enlist the help of an experienced immigration lawyer. The Oakland deportation defense attorneys of Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C. are here to help you get through these proceedings as quickly as possible, particularly if you are currently detained and separated from your family. Take the first step today toward your securing the future of your family in the United States, and call our office at (510) 756-4468 to set up a free evaluation with a member of our team so you can see how one of our highly skilled California immigration lawyers can help you.

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