Study Group on Immigrant Representation: The First Decade

By Robert A. Katzmann. Published in Fordham Law Review. Published November 2, 2018.

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In this article, Katzmann calls attention to the proliferation of immigration cases in his court and around the country. He discusses the lack of immigrant representation and its long-reaching effects for immigrants.

Highlights include:

  • “For low-income immigrants, having an attorney is the difference between being allowed to stay in this country and suffering catastrophic deportation. The statistics are staggering: undetained asylum-seeking immigrants without a lawyer prevailed in only 13 percent of their cases, while those with a lawyer prevailed in 74 percent of their cases; detained immigrants without lawyers prevailed in only 3 percent of their cases, while 18 percent prevailed with lawyers” (p. 486).
  • “Immigrants are largely a vulnerable population of human beings who come to this country in the hopes of a better life, often entering without knowledge of the English language or American culture, in economic deprivation and in fear” (p. 487).
  • “Until the 2000s, immigration cases were a small percentage of the workload of my court, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which encompasses New York, Connecticut, and Vermont. In 1999, when I began working as an appellate judge, the immigration docket was a minuscule percentage of our workload. But within a few years, that changed dramatically. In the mid-2000s, between 2005 and 2008, the immigration docket approached 40 percent of the Second Circuit’s workload. The massive increase meant that our court had to develop procedures to manage such cases. The Second Circuit resolved some 24,350 immigration cases between October 1, 2002, and December 31, 2017” (p. 487).

Categories: Immigration, Individual Rights, Legal Aid Attorneys, Limited English Proficiency (LEP), Migrants/Immigrants, National, Pro Bono, Researchers and Academics

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