SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A proposed plan for San Diego County would provide legal help for undocumented migrants facing the possibility of deportation.
County Supervisor Terra Lawson-Remer on Tuesday is introducing a legal representation program that “will help address the current backlog in immigration courts, while also saving taxpayer dollars and supporting the local economy,” according to county officials.
The program would make San Diego County the first southern border county in the U.S. to provide legal assistance for undocumented immigrants.
Migrants are entitled to legal representation as part of the immigration process, but a lack of appointed counsel means an immigration court backlog and tens of thousands of people unrepresented each year.
The program aims to fund attorneys that would provide representation for many migrants who have crossed the border; some have hopes of being arrested in order to begin the asylum process, although often the migrants do not have a way to pay for an attorney to help them.
The introduction of the plan comes as Customs and Border Protection officials say a growing number of people are risking their lives to attempt to enter the U.S. illegally.
In late March, the City of San Diego volunteered to house unaccompanied minors at the Convention Center.