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Will Having A Lawyer Increase My Chances Of Success In Immigration Court?

Will Having a Lawyer Increase My Chances of Success in Immigration Court?

In a previous article, we discussed that immigrants have a right to counsel in immigration court but the government is not responsible for the costs and responsibilities associated with such hiring.

Although finding a qualified attorney you can afford may prove to be challenging, you should strongly consider doing so. Due to the complexities of immigration law, it would stand to reason that having a knowledgeable attorney during removal proceeding would improve your ability to defend yourself. But the first formal study on legal representation of foreign nationals in immigration proceedings actually proves the validity of this theory. The following are the main findings of the study on this subject:

Immigrants with attorneys were much more successful at every stage of the immigration court process:

  • Represented immigrants in detention who had a bond hearing were 4 times more likely to be released from detention (44 % with counsel versus 11% without).
  • Represented immigrants were much more likely to apply for relief from deportation.

Detained immigrants with counsel were nearly 11 times more likely to seek relief, such as, asylum, than those without representation (32% with counsel versus 3% without).

Immigrants who were never detained were 5 times more likely to seek relief if they had an attorney (78% with counsel versus 15% without).

  • Represented immigrants were more likely to obtain the immigration relief they sought.

Detained immigrants with counsel were twice as likely as their unrepresented counterparts to obtain relief if they asked for it (49% with counsel versus 23% without).

Represented immigrants who were never detained were nearly 5 times more likely than their unrepresented counterparts to obtain relief if they asked for it (63% with counsel versus 13% without).

The foregoing findings leave no doubt that having a lawyer in Immigration Court increases your chances of success to obtain your release from detention, and to win your case.

Our experienced attorneys have been successful in defending many individuals in removal proceedings. Let the immigration attorneys at the Law Offices of Azita M. Mojarad, P.C. help you determine your options and assist you with the immigration court process. For further information or to schedule a consultation contact us at (312) 641-0771.



About the Data

This report analyzes the government’s own court records in immigration cases. Using the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), these court records were obtained from the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the division of the Department of Justice that conducts immigration court proceedings. The complete EOIR administrative database included 6,165,128 individual immigration proceedings spanning fiscal years 1951 to 2013. These data were reduced to an analytical sample of 1,206,633 individual removal cases in which immigration judges reached a decision on the merits between fiscal years 2007 and 2012. The analysis set out in this report appears in expanded form, together with a detailed methodological appendix, in Ingrid Eagly and Steven Shafer, “A National Study of Access to Counsel in Immigration Court,” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 164, no. 1 (December 2015): 1–91. 


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