People living in Idaho with cases in immigration court often don’t have a lawyer. The law says they must be notified of organizations that provide free legal services, but until last month the closest place to get representation was in Montana.
This month, the nonprofit organization Immigrant Justice Idaho opened up with the goal of addressing the state gap in free or low-cost legal representation for people dealing with immigration cases.
The organization was the brainchild of Boise Attorney Maria Andrade. Speaking on Idaho Matters, she says IJI fills a need in the Gem State.
“Most of the organizations that do exist, whether Montana or Washington, understandably they limit their services most often to residents, so there simply was no place to turn for free or low-cost immigration deportation defense,” says Andrade.
Andrade says having a lawyer can make a big difference in immigration cases.
“People are five to ten times more likely to win their case, depending on other factors, if they have representation. So here is a way we know we can make a tangible difference in Idahoan’s lives, not just the actual person in court, but entire families and communities,” says Andrade.
She says Immigrant Justice Idaho could help between 50 and 100 people each month.
Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio
Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio