As part of Operation Lone Star—Texas’ border security effort—the state is providing lawyers for illegal aliens charged with criminal matters when they are found to be indigent (unable to afford legal representation).
However, some of the assigned lawyers are now attempting to defend illegal aliens in civil court—on the taxpayers’ dime. Many involved with the process are pointing out that this is outside the bounds of OLS’s legal structure and is a privilege not even afforded to American citizens.
Amrutha Jindal, the chief defender of the Operation Lone Star program for LPDO, has approved the assignment of indigent defense for multiple illegal aliens facing civil proceedings for failing to appear in court.
Per Texas law, “An indigent defendant is entitled to have an attorney appointed to represent him in any adversary judicial proceeding that may result in punishment by confinement and in any other criminal proceeding if the court concludes that the interests of justice require representation.”
Thus, illegal aliens may only receive taxpayer-funded legal representation when facing criminal charges or charges that could result in jail time.
In the aforementioned civil cases that Jindal approved counsel for, no possible outcome of the proceeding could result in jail time and should not involve a state-funded attorney.
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.
Since Texans are not provided with indigent defense in civil matters such as these, some taxpayers may wonder why they must foot the bill to provide it for illegal aliens.