Dec 19, 2011

Immigration Reality: Judges Give Low Marks to Lawyers in Immigration Cases "The performance of many lawyers who represent immigrants facing deportation in New York has long been considered mediocre. But in a new report that seeks to measure the extent of the problem, immigration judges themselves step forward and offer a scathing assessment of much of the lawyering they have witnessed in their courtrooms. Immigrants received “inadequate” legal assistance in 33 percent of the cases between mid-2010 and mid-2011 and “grossly inadequate” assistance in 14 percent of the cases, the judges said.

... The report found that many immigrants do not have representation at all. (Unlike in criminal courts, respondents in immigration courts are not entitled to court-appointed lawyers.) Immigrants in 27 percent of cases between October 2005 and July 2010 appeared in court without a legal representative, according to the report. For detained immigrants, 67 percent appeared alone before a judge.

The report found that immigrants’ fate can depend largely on whether they can find legal representation: About 67 percent of all immigrants with counsel during that five-year period had successful outcomes in their cases, while only 8 percent of those without lawyers prevailed." read more

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