/ Modified apr 26, 2018 2:59 p.m.

AG Backs Off Plan to Halt Legal Program for Detained Immigrants

The program grew out of the model of a project started in Arizona.

Jeff Sessions hero Then- Sen. Jeff Sessions during remarks before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest, in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 2016.
Glenn Fawcett, Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions backpedaled Wednesday afternoon on a plan to stop a legal program for detained immigrants without a lawyer at the end of April.

Officials had planned to pause the federally funded program for an audit. Started nationally in 2003, the Legal Orientation Program grew out of a model created by the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project located here in Arizona.

The decision to pause the program for an audit drew the ire of some lawmakers. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at a U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

"I recognize, however, that this committee has spoken on this matter. And out of deference to the committee, I’ve ordered that there be no pause while the review is being conducted," Sessions said.

With days left before the Legal Orientation Program was scheduled to stop, it is unclear exactly what the announcement will mean for the Florence Project, which faced a $500,000 cut in funding and potential changes of its services.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
Arizona Public Media broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents. Arizona Public Media and AZPM are registered trademarks of the Arizona Board of Regents.
The University of Arizona