A Texas judge has ruled against state-funded civil defense attorneys for illegal aliens.
As part of Operation Lone Star—Texas’ border security effort—the state is obligated to provide lawyers for illegal aliens charged with criminal matters when they are found to be indigent (unable to afford legal representation).
However, some of the lawyers assigned by the Lubbock Private Defenders Office, one organization tasked with defending illegal aliens in criminal cases by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission, have been attempting to defend illegal aliens in civil court as well—on the taxpayers’ dime.
Now, Judge David Garcia has ruled against that practice during a hearing.
Assistant Kinney County Attorney Tom Roberson argued before the court that the illegal aliens’ bond forfeiture cases “are not OLS cases, like the criminal case that they were arrested for.”
These are different. They don’t qualify because there’s no threat of incarceration.
Indeed, per Texas law, an indigent illegal alien may only receive taxpayer-funded legal representation when facing criminal charges or charges that could result in jail time.
According to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a bond forfeiture proceeding (what the illegal aliens are facing) is considered a civil matter since it does not result in jail time.
Judge Garcia ruled in agreement with the state, stating, “The policies and procedures that were adopted by the Texas Indigent Defense Commission does not give LPDO the authority to appoint in civil cases, irrespective of their contention that they were appointed in the best interest and the interest of justice.”
“There [are] no exceptional circumstances that require me to extend the appointment to a civil matter,” said Garcia.
As the situation on the southern border continues to worsen, many Texans are pushing for Gov. Greg Abbott to take further action and assume the executive powers constitutionally allocated to repel an invasion.