Securing Equal JusticeSupporting Immigrants

Legal Representation

People facing deportation can have a lot to lose. Many have lived here for years, some as legal permanent residents or U.S. citizens, and their families live here. More recent arrivals may fear returning to a country so dangerous they felt forced to flee. With all that’s at stake, the process of deciding their fate should be fair.

Our work with the federal government and with partner agencies across the country to reach immigrants in detention and educate them about the court process aims to make them better advocates for themselves and speed the process, sparing them prolonged confinement. Other programs provide pro bono legal representation to unaccompanied children and people with a mental illness.

Related Work

Why Does Representation Matter?

The Impact of Legal Representation in Immigration Court

Representation before any court of law is a matter of fundamental fairness. However, immigrants facing deportation are entitled to representation paid for by the government only in extremely limited circumstances, despite the high stakes involved in these proceedings. A growing body of research demonstrates the need for representation and its signi...

Publication
  • Nina Siulc, Karen Berberich
November 14, 2018
Publication

Evaluation of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project

Assessing the Impact of Legal Representation on Family and Community Unity

This study evaluates the impact of the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP). NYIFUP is the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants facing deportation—defined as those in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. Funded by the New York City Council since July 2014, the program provides a free attorney to almost all de...

Publication
  • Nina Siulc, Karen Berberich, Tammy Cho, Laura Simich, Noelle Smart, Jennifer Stave, Danny Dubbaneh, Peter Markowitz
November 09, 2017
Publication

Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network

Local Leaders Keeping Immigrant Families Together and Communities Safe

In the face of stepped-up immigration enforcement, millions of non-citizens—many of them taxpaying lawful permanent residents—are at risk of extended detention and permanent separation from their families and communities. Expanding legal representation for immigrants facing detention and deportation has thus become a crucial last line of defense fo...

Project
  • Annie Chen
    Annie Chen
Project