Huckleberries Online

Judge rules U.S. must provide lawyers

LOS ANGELES – Two mentally disabled immigrants must be given lawyers as they fight deportation, a U.S. district court judge has ruled. Jose Franco-Gonzalez, 29, of Costa Mesa, Calif., and Guillermo Gomez-Sanchez, 48, of San Bernardino, Calif., are at the center of a case that marks one of the first instances in which a judge ordered representation for an individual in immigration proceedings, according to a coalition of advocacy lawyers arguing the men’s cases.

The decision by U.S. District Court Judge Dolly Gee came last week just before Christmas. In a March lawsuit, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other advocates argued that the men’s diminished mental capacities made them unable to voice their own interests.

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Cindy Hval
Cindy Hval is a freelance columnist for the Voices neighborhood sections. Her Front Porch column appears twice a month in the Thursday Voice.








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