Putting TRAC to Work
  Legal and Scholarly
Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (SJCRCL), Stanford Law School
June 2015

Access to Justice for Immigrant Families and Communities: A Study of Legal Representation of Detained Immigrants in Northern California
By Jayashri Srikantiah, David Hausman, and Lisa Weissman-Ward

Every day in Northern California, hundreds of immigrants are locked up while the federal immigration authorities conduct removal proceedings to deport them from this country.[2] For these immigrants, deportation can mean permanent separation from children and spouses or a return to a foreign country where they face violence or torture. Despite the high stakes, the U.S. immigration system does not provide lawyers to immigrants who cannot afford them.[3] As a result, the rate of legal representation for immigrants who are locked up while in removal proceedings is abysmally low—we found that only one third of detained immigrants in Northern California were represented by a lawyer at any point during their proceeding. At the same time, the number of deportations across the country and in Northern California has skyrocketed: 271,279 proceedings were initiated in the nation’s immigration courts in fiscal year 2013.[4] The result is a crisis in the largest immigration courts, including the San Francisco Immigration Court, which has a backlog of over 25,000 cases as of June 2014.[5] As the Article describes below, large numbers of individuals—including those with longstanding family and community ties—face deportation from Northern California without the help of a lawyer.....[Citing TRAC research].

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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