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    In immigration court, having an attorney matters. Legal representation often makes the difference between whether someone is allowed to remain safely in the United States or is deported to harm, permanently separated from their family. However, the immigration system does not provide a court-appointed attorney to immigrants facing deportation who cannot afford an attorney. Only 37 percent of all immigrants and 14 percent of detained immigrants go to court with attorneys on their side, according to a 2016 American Immigration Council (AIC) study.

    Immigrants who have limited English proficiency and a limited understanding of the complex US immigration system, including children, are forced to present their cases in court without legal representation. In their hearings, they face adversary government attorneys representing one of the most well-resourced federal agencies, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Not surprisingly, people with an attorney are more likely to seek relief from deportation and win their cases. Immigrants who are not detained and have attorneys are five times more likely to seek help and nearly five times more likely to win their cases than those without attorneys, according to the AIC study. Detained immigrants are 11 times more likely to seek relief when they have legal counsel and twice as likely to obtain relief than detained immigrants without an attorney. For children and other vulnerable populations, having an attorney is even more critical. Among unaccompanied represented children, an analysis of Syracuse University immigration court data shows that 73% are allowed to remain in the United States, while only 15% of unrepresented children are allowed to remain in the United States. allows to stay. Legal advice not only ensures that immigrants receive meaningful hearings, but also makes immigration court proceedings more efficient. Improving access to attorneys and legal information could help decrease the backlog of cases in immigration courts, which has reached an all-time high. Available for Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.


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    The Deportation Defense Fund