More Illegal Immigrants Now Have Attorneys

Monday, 21 Apr 2014 09:00 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Most undocumented immigrants who end up in court now have lawyers, though just five years ago far fewer were being represented, new federal government data reveal — and many of the attorneys are working pro bono through programs coordinated by the federal government.

This past year, 54 percent of the people in immigration proceedings were being represented, according to the Executive Office for Immigration Review's 2013 statistical yearbook, while in 2009, only 39 percent had attorneys.

Immigrants are getting lawyers, reports The National Journal, because in the past few years the government has done more to connect them with pro bono, or free, representation through third-party groups.

The Department of Health and Human Services coordinates pro bono representation for juveniles involved in immigration proceedings and other programs, such as creation of the Legal Orientation Program for Custodians in 2012, and helps connect adult custodians of undocumented children to attorneys.

In addition, the EOIR itself has a program that connects low-income undocumented immigrants to reputable lawyers.

Immigration cases have been changing over the years, in part due to an order in 2011 by John Morton, then-director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, that directed officials to take some circumstances into consideration, including how long a person had been in the United States.

Also, the Obama administration's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals law allows youths to delay deportation proceedings, meaning such cases have increased through the years.

As a result, the immigrant community now has "kind of a savvier understanding of what their rights might be," said Crystal Williams, executive director of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Also, more immigrants are now aware that they can be represented by an attorney because of increases in anti-deportation activism, she said.

Immigration cases are on the decline, though, The National Journal reports, dropping from 224,577 in 2009 to 173,018 in 2013.

Williams said that many of those persons may have already been exposed to legal resources. In addition, she said, AILA membership has gone up in recent years, and the increase in legal representation may just be because "there may be more attorneys available for people to retain, and it may just be as simple as that."

Because more immigrants have attorneys, their cases are taking longer to resolve, and that also means the number of deportation cases has slowed down, The New York Times reports. Deportations have dropped by 43 percent from 2009 to 2013, and about half of the immigrants are winning their court cases.

Just 1 percent of illegal immigrants living in the United States last year were deported, a dramatic 25 percent drop from the previous year. The Obama administration says that's purposeful because of a shift in focus.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Muhammad Ali Hospitalized With Pneumonia

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 23:27 PM

Boxing great Muhammad Ali was hospitalized with a mild case of pneumonia that was caught early and should result in a sh . . .

Chicago Mayor's Teenage Son Mugged near Home

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 22:32 PM

A spokeswoman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the mayor's 17-year-old son was mugged near the family's home.Spokeswo . . .

Protesters Shut Down Part of Mall of America in Minnesota

Saturday, 20 Dec 2014 22:25 PM

More than 1,500 protesters against police violence shut down part of the Mall of America in Minnesota on Saturday, resul . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved