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Justice Department to Halt Program That Gives Legal Advice to Detained Immigrants

The U.S. immigration courts are temporarily halting a program that provides legal assistance to detained immigrants while the federal government analyzes how cost-effective it is, a federal official told The Washington Post. The Legal Orientation Program, which is run by the nonprofit Vera Institute of Justice, held information sessions for some 53,000 immigrants last year. The Executive Office for Immigration Review told the newspaper that the government is pausing the program and wants to “conduct efficiency reviews which have not taken place in six years.” Advocates decried the move. “This is a blatant attempt by the administration to strip detained immigrants of even the pretense of due-process rights,” Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, said.