FALLS CHURCH, VA – The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) today announced that, beginning Nov. 1, 2014, it will provide assistance to families detained at the Karnes Family Residential Center, in Karnes City, Texas, through the Legal Orientation Program (LOP). The LOP is a program in which representatives from non-profit organizations provide explanations about immigration court procedures along with other basic legal information to groups of detained individuals. This expansion is possible due to additional funds Congress provided to EOIR for the LOP. The expansion of the program to the Karnes facility marks EOIR's 32nd LOP site, and the third LOP location within a family detention center.
"The Legal Orientation Program is critical to the efficiency of our immigration court proceedings," said EOIR Director Juan P. Osuna. "By attending an LOP, individuals are better able to make timely and informed decisions in their removal proceedings and, with more information about available resources, are more likely to obtain representation."
Since the start of fiscal year 2014, the LOP has expanded to seven additional sites. In addition to the Karnes facility, LOP recently began serving the Artesia Family Residential Center, in Artesia, N.M., and will soon begin to serve the expanded Berks County Family Shelter, in Leesport, Pa. The LOP expansion also includes new detention sites in Woodstock, Ill. and Kenosha, Wis.
Since 2003, EOIR has carried out the LOP to improve judicial efficiency in the immigration courts, and to assist detained individuals and others involved in removal proceedings to make timely and informed decisions. Under the LOP, EOIR contracts with nonprofit organizations to provide group and individual orientations, self-help workshops, and pro bono referral services for individuals in removal proceedings.
Please see EOIR's fact sheet, EOIR's Office of Legal Access Programs, for more information on the LOP and EOIR's additional legal access programs.
- EOIR -
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice. Under delegated authority from the Attorney General, immigration judges and the Board of Immigration Appeals interpret and adjudicate immigration cases according to United States immigration laws. EOIR’s immigration judges conduct administrative court proceedings in immigration courts located throughout the nation. They determine whether foreign-born individuals—whom the Department of Homeland Security charges with violating immigration law—should be ordered removed from the United States or should be granted relief from removal and be permitted to remain in this country. The Board of Immigration Appeals primarily reviews appeals of decisions by immigration judges. EOIR’s Office of the Chief Administrative Hearing Officer adjudicates immigration-related employment cases. EOIR is committed to ensuring fairness in all of the cases it adjudicates.