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Undocumented Immigrants

Offering lawyers to immigrants facing deportation is a worthwhile way to spend public money

Offering lawyers to immigrants facing deportation is a worthwhile way to spend public money

Having a lawyer can make all the difference in the world to someone facing deportation in federal immigration court, where the law is dizzyingly byzantine. Yet only 37% of potential deportees have one. Part of the problem is a lack of attorneys trained in immigration law, and part of it is money — immigrants, unsurprisingly, often lack the resources to hire lawyers.

Of course, if they were facing criminal charges, they would be provided with lawyers as a constitutional right under U.S. Supreme Court rulings. But immigration codes are civil, and there is no constitutional right to an attorney during civil proceedings. If you can find one on your own, good for you, but the...

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