A recent study conducted by the Cardozo Law Review (Yeshiva University in New York City) revealed that tens of thousands of immigrants in New York facing deportation proceedings lack competent legal counsel. In some cases, the problem was with the attorneys’ lack of preparation and knowledge of applicable law. However, even those facing deportation who had “inadequate” legal assistance fared better than those who did not have legal counsel at all. In New York, immigrants appeared in court without legal counsel in nearly 15,000 cases (27 percent of the total). In other jurisdictions, that number often approaches 80 percent. Approximately 67 percent of immigrants with legal counsel at deportation hearings during the study were allowed to remain in the country. Only eight percent of those without legal counsel were able to avoid deportation. Although there are many similarities in the way criminal defendants and those facing deportation proceedings are handled as a matter of process by the government, most criminal defendants are entitled to legal counsel; those facing deportation proceedings are not. Criminal defendants and immigrants in deportation proceedings both face potential deprivation of liberty interests, both before, during and after their cases are heard. However, unlike most criminal defendants, immigrants are often subjected to long immigration detentions far away from their families prior to having their day in court.
If you or a loved one is facing deportation, contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately.
For articles regarding the Cardozo Law Review study, see:
Other current articles regarding immigration/deportation: