Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Lawyer Shortage in Deportation Hearings

An estimated half of those facing deportation hearings are represented by attorneys. The crush of cases in immigration court makes it difficult to find lawyers who will take on cases pro bono. Unlike criminal cases the government does not have to provide legal assistance. There are efforts to increase the number of attorneys volunteering to represent impoverished aliens, but pro-immigrant activists insist that only a "public-defender" system would work. The results for the immigrant -- deportation, family disruption and the like -- are serious enough that care should be made that their rights are represented by counsel. (See LA Times article.)

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