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Advancing Universal Representation A Toolkit for Advocates, Organizers, Legal Service Providers, and Policymakers

The movement for universal representation—the idea that every immigrant facing detention and deportation should have the right to a publicly funded lawyer if they cannot afford one—continues to gain significant momentum.

    As a result of local and state campaigns, more than 40 jurisdictions across the country now fund deportation defense programs. With the growing injustices and instability that federal immigration enforcement and the spread of COVID-19 have brought to communities, local and state public investment in deportation defense is needed now more than ever.

    There is no one-size-fits-all approach to universal representation campaigns, and strategies should be tailored to local circumstances. But there are many lessons to be learned from successful campaigns. This fact sheet provides a summary of insights and tools that are explored in more detail in Advancing Universal Representation: Module 2—Building the Movement by the Vera Institute of Justice, National Immigration Law Center, and Center for Popular Democracy. Download the factsheet to learn more.