Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Jurist, Supported by the University of Pittsburgh Law
September 5, 2014

The Immigration Court is a Legal Paradox
By Geoffrey Hoffman, of the University of Houston Law Center and edited by Josh Guckert

There is no question that immigration law's twin poles of enforcement and relief make for puzzling applications. These twin goals undergird executive and legislative decision-making that appear at best contradictory or paradoxical and at worst counterproductive or illogical. The immigration court system is especially prone to this kind of unfairness. The least capable of obtaining immigration counsel are those with the least funds and resources; for example, detained juveniles. Such children are often those with favorable claims, such as "special immigrant juveniles," or even asylum seekers. How many out there were denied the chance to stay in the US by the simple fact that an attorney was not by their side to raise a valid claim against deportation in their defense? Retention of an attorney of course does not guarantee relief. However, the statistics tell a very compelling story regarding the importance of good counsel. Perhaps in no other area is having an attorney so crucial. According to Syracuse University, in almost half the cases in which a child was represented, the court allowed the child to remain. Interestingly, where the child appeared alone, without representation, nine out of ten children were ordered removed.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2014
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