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Do I Have the Right to an Attorney in Immigration Court?

Do I Have the Right to an Attorney in Immigration Court?

While any immigrant has the right to be represented by an attorney in immigration court, accessing an attorney and paying for his or her legal representation is typically up to the immigrant. This can be a particularly difficult task for an immigrant who is detained in an immigrant detention facility. Unlike in the U.S. criminal justice system, immigrants have no right to appointed counsel in immigration court. While an individual who faces incarceration in the U.S. is entitled to have counsel appointed to him or her under the Sixth Amendment if he or she cannot afford to hire one, the immigrant facing deportation in immigration court has no such rights. As a result, immigrants often are unrepresented by counsel in immigration court proceedings, in which the government is always represented by an attorney. Nationwide, only about 37% of immigrants are represented by attorneys in their deportation cases. However, only about 14% of detained immigrants are represented by attorneys. Immigrants facing removal proceedings in large cities were much more likely to be represented by counsel than those immigrants facing removal proceedings in more rural areas. These low rates of representation are particularly troubling because immigrants who are represented by counsel have a much better chance of success in court, at every stage of their court proceedings. For example, detained immigrants were four times more likely to be released from detention than those who were not represented by counsel. Immigrants with attorneys also were much more likely to apply for relief from deportation than those without attorneys. Immigration courts hear hundreds of cases each day, where only a small fraction of immigrants have secured legal counsel. The evidence is uncontroverted that legal representation greatly improves your chances of success in deportation proceedings in immigration court. Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., knows federal immigration law and has the experience to guide you and advocate on your behalf throughout any type of deportation proceeding, no matter what the allegations may be. We are familiar with the wide range of defenses that are available to individuals facing deportation, and how to build the strongest defense that is available to you, based on the evidence relevant to your case. Contact your California deportation defense lawyers today, and discover what we can do for you.

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