Right to Counsel

District Court Holds Hearing in Case About Kids’ Right to Attorneys in Immigration Court

District Court Holds Hearing in Case About Kids’ Right to Attorneys in Immigration Court

A federal district court in Seattle heard arguments in a lawsuit on Thursday seeking to ensure that all children in immigration court have legal representation. The case received a flurry of attention when press reports revealed that an immigration judge deposed in the case said he had successfully taught three-year-olds immigration law. The focus of […]

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Story of Unaccompanied Child Underscores Importance of Legal Representation Needed for All Refugee Children

Story of Unaccompanied Child Underscores Importance of Legal Representation Needed for All Refugee Children

Elvis Garcia is a migration counselor at the Catholic Charities Community Services of New York. He is also a former unaccompanied child who fled from his native Honduras in 2005 when he was 15 years old. Last week, Garcia and several others participated in a roundtable discussion sponsored by Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services to […]

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The Washington Post Exposes Sorry State of Immigration Courts

Written by on February 6, 2014 in Enforcement, Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 1 Comment
The Washington Post Exposes Sorry State of Immigration Courts

This week, the Washington Post ran a front page article drawing attention to the fact that our nation’s immigration courts are operating in crisis mode.  The immigration courts are so overcrowded that judges are forced to make split-second decisions regarding complex legal issues, calling into question whether the court system is fairly administering justice.  The […]

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New York City Pilots Free Legal Representation in Immigration Court

Written by on November 13, 2013 in Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 6 Comments
New York City Pilots Free Legal Representation in Immigration Court

In criminal courts throughout the United States, the government provides defendants who cannot afford an attorney with a free public defender. In immigration courts, which are not part of the criminal court system, immigrants who are unable to hire a private attorney and cannot find a free legal service provider are forced to face off […]

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Hearing and Report Highlight Lack of Due Process in Immigration System

Hearing and Report Highlight Lack of Due Process in Immigration System

This week, Senator Christopher Coons of Delaware presided over a public hearing to discuss what so many of us know:  the immigration courts are failing to provide a fair, efficient, and effective system of justice.  Many of the concerns raised by Senator Coons, as well as some of the witnesses, during Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee […]

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Shoddy Court Process Behind the Record Number of Deportations

Written by on February 15, 2013 in Enforcement, Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 3 Comments
Shoddy Court Process Behind the Record Number of Deportations

The Obama Administration is on record for pursuing the toughest immigration enforcement policies in U.S. history, mostly evidenced by its record numbers of deportations.  These numbers speak volumes:  last year, nearly 400,000 people were deported from the United States.  While these numbers are shockingly high and there has been much discussion about how these actions […]

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Why Immigrants Should Have Access to Legal Counsel

Why Immigrants Should Have Access to Legal Counsel

U. S. immigration laws are incredibly complex, yet they provide only minimal due process protections for even the most vulnerable noncitizens. In criminal courts, defendants who cannot afford an attorney are provided one for free, but in immigration court, noncitizens do not receive the same protections. As a result, many immigrants facing deportation are forced […]

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Watchdog Report Offers Misdiagnosis of Immigration Court Backlog

Written by on November 14, 2012 in Enforcement, Immigration Courts, Reform, Right to Counsel with 1 Comment
Watchdog Report Offers Misdiagnosis of Immigration Court Backlog

With more than 325,000 cases pending at the start of October, our nation’s immigration courts are indisputably operating under a crushing backlog. The only question is whether and how it can be resolved. In a little-noticed report issued in early November, the Inspector General of the Justice Department levied a number of criticisms regarding the […]

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How Overburdened Immigration Courts Can Be Improved

Written by on July 12, 2012 in Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 0 Comments
How Overburdened Immigration Courts Can Be Improved

By Naike Savain. Immigration courts are notorious for significant backlogs and lacking sufficient resources to timely and justly adjudicate the hundreds of thousands of removal cases pending before them. And, despite recent announcements that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is exercising prosecutorial discretion in some removal cases, immigration courts throughout the country struggle to […]

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It’s Time to Improve Noncitizens’ Access to Counsel

Written by on January 23, 2012 in Enforcement, Immigration Courts, Right to Counsel with 0 Comments
It’s Time to Improve Noncitizens’ Access to Counsel

In the United States, most immigration decisions impacting noncitizens are made by immigration officials in informal proceedings far from a courtroom. While the right to an attorney (at the noncitizens’ own expense) in immigration court proceedings is widely recognized, the right to counsel in administrative settings outside of a courtroom is often overlooked or explicitly […]

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