Deportation without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing New Jersey's Immigrant Families

Report Author: 
Lori A. Nessel & Farrin R. Anello
Original Date of Publication: 
2016 Jun

Deportation without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing New Jersey's Immigrant Families

Deportation without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing New Jersey's Immigrant Families argues for an expansion of access to free and low-cost legal services for low- income New Jersey residents who are facing deportation proceedings. The authors begin by reviewing the positive impact of immigration on the state of New Jersey and the negative results of deportation on individuals, families and the state's economy. After providing a description of the complexity of deportation proceedings, the authors present an analysis of what the results are for those involved in deportation cases without legal representation. To do this they draw on a data-set of cases heard in New Jersey's two immigration courts, and they conclude that having representation greatly increases the likelihood that an individual will win their deportation case and the chances that the individual will file for and receive some form of legal relief. Having made the case for the importance of representation, the authors then review a survey of organizations providing legal services to immigrants in the state. A key finding is that those organizations represented significantly fewer detained than non-detained clients, regardless of their overall caseload. Organizations generally reported that funding and support for services are limited, and that this scarcity of services seemed most pronounced in the southern part of the state. The authors conclude by reiterating how the complicated nature of deportation proceedings puts non-represented individuals at risk, particularly those in detention. They also include pragmatic reasons for providing guaranteed representation, such as the fact that cases with no representation take up more of the courts' resources. (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University)

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Report File: 
Citation: 

Nessel, L. A. & Anello, F. R. (2016). Deportation without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing New Jersey's Immigrant Families. Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice. Newark: NJ. Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2805525

Source Organization: 
Seton Hall University School of Law