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WNYC
April 3, 2018

New York Immigrants Have the Nation's Highest Rate of Legal Representation
By Beth Fertig


Immigrants in New York state have the greatest likelihood of getting a lawyer and the lowest rate of deportation orders of any state with an immigration court, according to a new report by researchers at Syracuse University. The school's Transactional Records Access Clearninghouse (TRAC) looked at government data for all immigration court cases between February 2002 and February 2018. More than 74 percent of cases in New York State had attorneys, and just 28 percent received removal, or deportation, orders. Both the state and the city have invested in providing free attorneys for low-income immigrants. The New York Immigrant Family Unit Project specifically serves those who have been detained (although city funds can't be used to help those convicted of certain serious crimes). With so many lawyers, Susan Long, a statistics professor and co-director of TRAC, said it's no coincidence that New York would have the lowest rate of deportation orders. "It is very difficult to be successful in court without representation," she said. "Itís a very complicated law that we have, and very difficult to represent yourself." It's impossible to know if all of those individuals were actually deported because they could have appealed. And TRAC is suing the Trump Administration because it's no longer allowed to see whether detained immigrants are actually deported. Although the federal government is arresting more immigrants, overall deportation numbers have fallen. The TRAC data also show how immigrants in upstate New York counties like Batavia and Genesee are less likely to have lawyers than those in New York City and its suburbs.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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