California's Due Process Crisis: Access to Legal Counsel for Detained Immigrants.
California Coalition for Universal Representation.
Published: June 2016
This report calls for California to create a publicly-funded program to provide appointed counsel to indigent detained immigrants in deportation proceedings. It shares findings from an examination of 55,145 cases in California immigration courts between 2012-2015 that reveals that 68% of detained immigrants in California are unrepresented and that detained immigrants who had counsel succeeded more than five times as often as did their unrepresented counterparts. It is explained that almost half of all California children have at least one immigrant parent, meaning that thousands of California families face the danger of children being placed in foster care upon the detention or deportation of a parent. The financial costs to California of detention and deportation are explained, and it is argued that providing counsel to detained Californians would significantly reduce these costs. It reports that there were approximately 7,400 detained and unrepresented immigrants who had their cases heard in California immigration courts in 2015. Using a cost estimate of $5,000 per case, the report estimates an investment of $37 million would ensure representation of every detained and unrepresented immigrant in California. Strategies for developing a representation program for California are discussed. 49 references.
deportation; children of immigrants; undocumented immigrants; court litigation; cost effectiveness; legal aid; legal services; lawyers; state aid; California