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Working with experienced attorney ensure immigrants' rights are protected

We've previously written about the increase in immigration enforcement in Texas since President Trump came into office. The uptick in enforcement is likely at least partially due to the change in immigration policy brought about by President Trump. Given the heightened enforcement environment, there is an increased need for immigrants to understand their legal rights and to work with an experienced attorney to defend those rights.

A recent article by the American Statesman highlights the significant challenges immigrants are up against when facing hearings with the court. Most of the immigrants who are arrested in the Austin and San Antonio areas are detained at the South Texas Detention Complex, also called the Pearsall Unit. The immigration court associated with the compound is the seventh busiest of the 57 immigration courts in the United States. 

Many of the individuals who have been arrested and deported in recent raids have been noncriminals. Around 72 percent of immigrants who have a hearing end up ultimately being deported. In many cases, immigrants don't have lawyers representing them, and decisions about deportation are made in a matter of minutes. Those who don't know what is going on or anything about their rights are at an obvious disadvantage.

Immigrants in criminal court do have a right to a lawyer, but the noncriminal immigrants who go to a hearing unrepresented don't have that benefit. This means, among other things, that unrepresented immigrants file paperwork for asylum and other avenues of relief at a significantly lower rate than immigrants who are represented by an attorney.

Having representation in immigration proceedings does not, of course, guarantee a favorable result for immigrants in every case. The outcome depends not only on quality representation, but also on the facts of the case and the discretion of the judge. That being said, immigrants who work with experienced legal counsel can be sure that they are receiving the kind of representation that gives them the best possible change of a favorable outcome. 

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