The ACLU is celebrating a small, yet exciting victory today after a judged reached the decision that two mentally challenged immigrants, both of whom are up for deportation and unable to function at a level competent enough to represent themselves, will be given legal representation so that they may have a chance to have their case heard, stated a spokesperson.
Immigration courts are not the same as criminal courts, reports the source. In a criminal court, the federal government will provide a defense attorney to someone who does not have one, but the law, at this time, does not hold true for immigration courts to be required to do so. But in the case of two mentally disabled immigrants, a judge has ruled that they must be given representation by the federal government pending their trial.
Both men are suffering from serious mental illness and there is no way that they would receive any kind of fair trial in immigrations court if they do not have some kind of legal representative to speak for them, said the expert. One of the men functions at the level of a small child, unable to do simple tasks or communicate effectively. The other man is schizophrenic and not competent enough to make statements on his own behalf. The ACLU maintains that detained immigrants with mental disabilities are routinely denied their basic constitutional rights in situations like these where they cannot speak for themselves.
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