Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
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Deportation study shows importance of legal representation

A new study on deportation hearings in California has demonstrated the importance of legal representation for immigrants. According to a study that was conducted in part by the Immigrants' Rights Clinic at Stanford Law School, immigrants who are facing deportation are three times more likely to be allowed to stay in the U.S. when they have help from a lawyer. The Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice was also involved in the study.

Released on Nov. 6, the study looked at the cases of more than 4,000 immigrants who were jailed in Northern California over a period of 12 months. All of the individuals in the study were facing deportation proceedings as a result of criminal convictions or because they were undocumented. The study found that the people with immigration attorneys won their cases 33 percent of the time while those without legal representation only won their cases 11 percent of the time.

In some of the cases, the attorneys were able to show that their clients were eligible for immigration relief either through asylum or because they were the victims of domestic abuse. The study also found that immigrants who were released on bail had a much greater chance of avoiding deportation than those who remained jailed until their hearing.

When someone is facing deportation, enlisting the help of an immigration attorney could be vital to maintaining the right to remain in the United States. An attorney may advocate for an immigrant's rights by using the appropriate forms of immigration relief that he or she might be eligible for.

Source: SF Gate, "Immigrants facing deportation do better in court with a lawyer", Bob Egelko, November 06, 2014

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