Ken Boehm, Chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today criticized the immigration bill crafted in secret by Senators led by Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Arlen Specter (R-PA).
Boehm said, “If passed, this bill will make taxpayers pay the legal bills for illegal aliens seeking amnesty. Tucked away on page 317 is a provision that would allow lawyers in the federally-funded legal services program to represent illegal aliens, which they are presently barred from doing.”
John Carlisle, NLPC’s Director of Policy, said, “Many taxpayers will be chagrined to learn they may soon have to provide a lawyer for illegal aliens who should not be here in the first place. Activist lawyers, illegal aliens and government money are a bad mix.”
The federally-funded Legal Services Corporation (LSC) supports a network of lawyers in hundreds of communities in the country to provide civil (not criminal) day-to-day legal help to poor people. This year, LSC will receive $330 million. Since it was founded in 1974, LSC has received over $6 billion.
The authorizing language states: Section 504(a)(11) of Public Law 104-134 (110 Stat. 1321 et seq.) shall not be construed to prevent a recipient of funds under the Legal Services Corporation Act (42 U.S.C. 2996 et seq.) from providing legal assistance directly related to an application for a Z-A visa under subsection (b) or an adjustment of status under subsection (j).
This negates a provision approved by Congress in 1996, with NLPC’s input, that prevents LSC-funded lawyers from representing illegal aliens. The restriction was necessary because legal services lawyers have a long history of promoting illegal immigration and showing contempt for the ban on representing illegals.