4 April 2023
The UNLV Immigration Clinic, which provides free consultations and deportation defense for adults in immigration detention and children who came to the U.S. without an adult, is looking to double its funding from the state.
AB328 would appropriate $1 million over the next two fiscal years to the immigration clinic to allow it to continue offering services and hire permanent support staff.
Michael Kagan, a UNLV law professor and director of the clinic, said during the bill’s hearing Monday that the clinic is “overstretched” and does not have a receptionist to take calls.
Kagan said that since Jan. 1, the clinic has received 114 calls seeking services from immigration detention centers in Southern Nevada and 27 calls regarding children seeking legal representation — in addition to the 90 children on the waitlist remaining from the end of last year.
“We are in the business of trying to build sustainable legal services for immigrants in our community,” Kagan said. “There’s extensive data that with an attorney, many people who are facing deportation actually achieve legal status and avoid deportation, but without an attorney, people have nearly no chance.”
In the 2021 legislative session, the immigration clinic received $500,000 in funding, which was matched by Clark County, and now the clinic could double that. Thanks to office space donated by attorney and former Assemblyman Ozzie Fumo (D-Las Vegas), the clinic has not had to worry about rent expenses.
Editor’s Note: This story appears in Behind the Bar, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2023 legislative session. Sign up for the newsletter here.
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