From Co-Dean David Lopez:
Rutgers Law School is part of a pilot program funded by the state of New Jersey to provide legal representation to low-income immigrants who are in detention and who are facing possible deportation. Rutgers is one of four legal partners of the Detention and Deportation Defense Initiative, including Legal Services of New Jersey, American Friends Service Committee, and Seton Hall Law School. Many of the clients represented are longtime residents and green card holders who would otherwise be left with no other option than to represent themselves in court with no legal training. While a defendant in criminal court is entitled to a public defender, no such right exists in immigration court. This pilot program ensures that New Jersey residents, many of whom have valid claims for relief, are not needlessly separated from their families without their day in court. Meaningful legal representation is central to the rule of law. We are proud of our part in this pilot program.