The immigrant experience is meant to be a smooth one, full of promise. Ideally, people from developing countries come to America for better work, education, human rights and, overall, and a better future for their children.
However, many of these stories turn out to be not as polished as that narrative. Immigrants often need to learn a new language, navigate a new system, face realities they never have before, and find their way in a new adopted country. Their hopes are high, and sometimes they end up unmet.
When criminal defendants can’t afford to pay for a lawyer, the court will appoint them one for free. But not all defendants have that right. If you’re called to immigration court, for example, you have to hire a private attorney. If you can’t afford one, you’re on your own. Many agencies provide free legal services to immigrants in these situations, but these agencies are overwhelmed. And even immigrants who can afford an attorney have to be careful who they hire. Some unlicensed practitioners prey on unsuspecting immigrants to make easy money.
On today's Your Call, it's our Friday media roundtable and we’ll speak with Pilar Marrero, senior political writer for La Opinion about her new book, 'Killing the American Dream: How Anti-Immigration Extremists Are Destroying the Nation." Marrero explores history of immigration in the US from 1986 when reform received bipartisan support, to today. What's in store for the future of immigration reform and how are the media covering these issues? It’s Your Call, with Rose Aguilar