GIVING CITY: $750,000 in funding cut for immigrant legal assistance (Statesman)

Published On: April 20, 2018Views: 430

An Austin nonprofit will struggle to offer its legal assistance program to immigrant detainees after the Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it would halt millions in grant funding.

Rebecca Lightsey, executive director of American Gateways, the nonprofit that provides those services to three detention centers in Texas, calls the decision “almost unconscionable.”

The programs educate immigrants about their basic legal rights and about the immigration court process. Unlike with criminal cases, immigrant court cases are civil matters and therefore not entitled to legal defense at the government’s expense. Without those programs, Austin immigration attorney Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch said, “They know nothing about the laws. They know zero. Most have been through a pretty harrowing journey and they have no idea what faces them. Without this service, they are not given any information.”

Read the full article here.

About the Author: Kate Lincoln-Goldfinch

I am the managing partner of Lincoln-Goldfinch Law. Upon graduating from the University of Texas for college and law school, I received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship in 2008, completed at American Gateways. My project served the detained families seeking asylum. After my fellowship, I entered private immigration practice. My firm offers family-based immigration, such as greencards and naturalization, deportation defense, and humanitarian cases such as asylum, U Visa, and VAWA. Everyone at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law is bilingual, has a connection to our cause, and has demonstrated a history of activism for immigrants. To us, our work is not just a job. After the pandemic we began offering bankruptcy services in addition to immigration I realized how much lack of information there is in financial literacy resources in Spanish.

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