Pro Bono News

Proposed Cut for Legal Aid for Low-Income Americans Hurts Programs for Poor (TX)

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Proposed Cut for Legal Aid for Low-Income Americans Hurts Programs for Poor

"Last year the presidential budget proposed to eliminate funding for a program that helps those with low incomes obtain legal representation.

Not only will this 2019 budget-cut hurt low-income Texans, it will also hurt the programs that help them.

Lone Star Legal Aid, Legal Aid of Northwest Texas and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid all receive grant funding from the Legal Services Corporation, which is the independent nonprofit established by Congress to provide funding for civil legal aid to low-income Americans.

"Cutting the legal aid that is already down to very little in comparison to other budgetary considerations that Congress has, would cripple the legal aid that is being provided to the senior citizens, veterans, to those with mental deficiencies that are already desperately needing funds," said Attorney Joe Flores.

For more than 40 years the United States has provided funds for legal aid services at more than 800 locations.

"Over 50,000 cases were addressed last year. If that funding were to be cut, those people would be denied having their day in court, and without a lawyer, you don't have the legal process, you really don't have a voice. The 5th Amendment, 6th Amendment, and 7th Amendment of the United States offer you the rights to remain silent, to have effective council, and to have a right to trial by jury. And without programs like these, those rights are going to be denied to the very poor," said Flores..."

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