Legal Aid Merger Affects Undocumented Immigrants | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Legal Aid Merger Affects Undocumented Immigrants

Play associated audio

By Mana Rabiee

A new merger of Virginia's two largest legal aid societies means some who once qualified for free legal advice will have to go elsewhere.

At the Arlington branch of Legal Services of Northern Virginia -- or LSNV -- a paralegal helps a client with his court warrant.

The organization just merged with the Potomac Legal Aid Society.

The restructuring means LSNV will now get federal funding but guidelines prohibit the money from being used to assist undocumented immigrants.

Andrea Bridgeman was President of Potomac Legal. She says it's unclear how many people LSNV will turn away.

"They didn't ask questions about citizenship or residency or so on so it was always difficult to get a grip on which of their clients would not be eligible for federal service," says Bridegman.

A spokesman for the quasi-governmental organization that now funds LSNV says he doesn't believe any undocumented immigrants will go unassisted because plans are underway to refer those people to a separate organization.

Bridgeman questions whether the organization will have the resources to service all of them.

Back in Arlington, the paralegal translates for her client who does qualify under the merger but wonders where he would go if didn't.

"I don't know, I don't know my options. I don't know maybe where I could go," he says.

The LSNV will continue to service victims of domestic violence no matter what their immigration status might be.

NPR

Making A Change To Keep A Constant Consonant

Given two words, change the first consonant sound in each word to the same new consonant sound and you'll phonetically name two things in the same category.
WAMU 88.5

Hops Coming Home: Loudoun County To Add Hop Production Facility

The first commercial-scale hop production and processing facility in the region is being planned out in Loudoun County, further adding to the region's burgeoning beer business.

NPR

Families Feel Sidelined As U.S. Reviews Hostage Policy

The White House is reviewing how it handles hostage crises following the brutal murders of Americans abroad, but families of hostages say they're often left out of the conversation.
NPR

Car Ride Service Puts Gender In The Driver's Seat

Car share programs are extremely popular, but so are concerns for safety. NPR's Tess Vigeland talks to Stella Mateo, founder of SheRides, which allows passengers to choose the gender of their driver.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.