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Lawyers sue over detained immigrants’ access to counsel

December 17, 2018

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Immigrants and their advocates have filed a lawsuit alleging that authorities aren’t allowing Southern California detainees adequate access to legal counsel.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other advocates sued in federal court in Riverside over the issue at three detention facilities.

The suit filed Friday alleges that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and its contract facilities in Adelanto and Orange County are limiting detainees’ ability to make phone calls and aren’t providing enough rooms for attorneys to meet with their clients.

Kate Voigt, associate director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, says similar problems have been reported elsewhere but are “particularly serious” at these facilities.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement declined to comment on pending litigation.

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