Expand the public defender’s office

The coalition recommends the Harris County Commissioners to expand the public defender’s office, to include sufficient immigration expertise and training resources to advise all non-citizens defendants. Ensure that all non-citizens defendants are referred to the PD’s office to be represented and receive a comprehensive immigration advisal. Given that this culture and resource shift may take some time, the private court-appointed attorneys that encounter noncitizen clients must receive high quality immigration law training in order to participate on the appointment wheel. In addition, Harris County should consider funding the public defender’s office to represent immigration clients in federal court.