Central Valley sees an Increased Demand for Immigration Lawyers
There has been an increased demand for immigration lawyers across California and immigration lawyers have been scrambling to meet the rise in demand. President Trump’s views on immigration have many undocumented immigrants rushing to change their legal status or challenge deportation. The highest demand for immigration lawyers seems to be in the Central Valley, which has a large immigrant population, but a small amount of immigration lawyers. According to the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Central Valley has 40 members, compared to the roughly 500 members in San Francisco and Oakland. Attorney Allison Davenport, who is with the Immigrant Legal Resource Center, states:
When you cannot connect people to quality service providers, they’re going to go to the person nearest them. It’s a big, big problem. A lot of attorneys in the area, a lot of their caseload is cleaning up the mess created by fraudulent providers.
Immigration lawyers in the Central Valley must take into consideration that many of their potential clients are farmworkers that do not have that much money to spare. According to OneJustice, an organization that works to expand access to legal help, there are more than 400 nonprofit immigration providers in California, but only 28 of them work in the Central Valley. The reason that there are few immigration lawyers and nonprofit immigration providers in the Central Valley is because the nearest immigration courts are in San Francisco and Los Angeles. The good news for undocumented immigrants in the Central Valley is that things have gotten better here for people seeking help with immigration law and nonprofits have been expanding services in the Central Valley.
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