The National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP) provides appointed legal representation for immigrants who are detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), unrepresented by counsel, and who have been found by an Immigration Judge or the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) to be incompetent to represent themselves in their immigration proceedings because of a serious mental disorder.

Immigrants represented under the NQRP are people with serious mental or developmental disabilities and have often suffered persecution and torture in their home countries because of their mental disabilities. The NQRP affords a meaningful opportunity to be heard by shifting the burden of representation from the immigrants themselves to highly-qualified attorneys and BIA Accredited Representatives to help ensure fair and efficient removal proceedings.

Project Objectives

  • The NQRP helps ensure that detained, unrepresented immigrants with serious mental illness are treated fairly in immigration proceedings.

  • The NQRP helps increase the efficiency of the Immigration Court system by facilitating the resolution of cases that might otherwise be delayed or remain unresolved.

  • The NQRP helps ensure that unrepresented immigrants with serious mental illness are not subjected to unconstitutional and expensive prolonged detention.

Key Fact

As of July 2016, the NQRP operates in six states, and will eventually operate nationwide.