Immigrants in Deportation Proceedings Should Have the Right to Legal Representation

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no legal right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings.

Almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, yet immigrants in our state have no right to legal counsel in deportation proceedings. Deportations break up families, harm communities, and burden children with the long-term consequences of trauma.

New York has recently become the first state to ensure that no immigrant will be detained and permanently separated from his or her family solely because of the inability to afford a lawyer.

According to the Vera Institute of Justice, without a lawyer, only 3% of detained immigrants avoid deportation. Providing public defenders can improve an immigrant’s chance of winning and remaining in the United States by as much as 1000%.

California needs to follow the example of New York in creating a publicly funded program to provide appointed counsel to immigrants in deportation proceedings.

Read the report on California’s Due Process Crisis by the California Coalition for Universal Representation

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