Federal Program to Provide Representation for Indigent Immigrants Would Pay for Itself

Fifty-nine percent (59%) of immigrants involved in removal proceeedings in immigration court do not have representation. 

The unrepresented include children who entered the U.S. without an adult and who are facing deportation alone, as well as immigrants who have a good legal argument to remain in the U.S. but do not know it.

Current law does not require that indigent immigrants be appointed a lawyer in immigration court. However, many groups are pushing for change in this area. A recent study by NERA Economic Consulting (NERA), a global firm that applies economic, finance, and quantitative principles to overcome complex challenges, shows that the federal government would recover nearly all costs if representation were provided. NERA estimates that reduced spending on detention, transportation, and other enforcement-related costs would make up for the roughly $208 million required to provide representation for all immigrants in removal proceedings. When provided with representation, immigrants are released from detention sooner, take up less space on the federal court dockets, and more willingly agree to voluntary removal if recommended by their lawyer.

Read more at: http://www.nera.com/67_8564.htm