Defenders: Clients can’t afford lawyersPublic defenders for more than a dozen workers from India accused of being in the country illegally say their clients cannot afford their own lawyers.
FARGO (AP) — Public defenders for more than a dozen workers from India accused of being in the country illegally say their clients cannot afford their own lawyers.
Fourteen of the 23 men charged in Fargo with making false claims about their employment eligibility status have been assigned public defenders. The government wants a judge to review their financial status.
The men were working for a Fargo construction company when they were arrested. Prosecutors say the final paychecks for the 23 workers totaled $69,000, and say some of the men have other assets.
Defense attorneys said the checks amount to $3,000 per person, which is not enough to pay for adequate representation from private lawyers. They said many of the men have family obligations and other expenses that must be paid out of their earnings.