Why Every Immigrant Needs a Lawyer

Why do I need an attorney if I am facing deportation?

Every criminal defendant is entitled to legal representation and will be appointed a lawyer if they cannot afford to hire one.  However, unlike in criminal proceedings, immigrants facing deportation have no right to an attorney.  Immigrant detainees have the right to hire a lawyer, but if they cannot afford one, they will be left defending against serious charges without legal counsel.  Immigrants that may be deported face losing their homes, families, and lives within the United States.  Alone and without experience or training to defend against deportation, most unrepresented immigrants will lose the fight to stay within the country. 

Combating the Problem of Unrepresented Immigrants in New York City

Recognizing the tremendous obstacles faced by immigrants in deportation proceedings, a group of advocates in New York City has taken action to ensure all immigrants receive legal assistance.  The New York Immigrant Family Unity Project was born in 2011 and comprises the nation’s first public defender system for immigrants.  Since its inception, the NYIFUP has provided a lawyer to every immigrant who is detained and facing deportation within the city when they cannot afford one. 

Represented immigrants are achieving tremendous success in remaining within the country.  Immigrants with a competent attorney can raise the appropriate defenses to combat the charges brought against them.  Those without a viable defense can, with the advice of counsel, accept an order of deportation, which will spare them a lengthy period of deportation and allow them to move on with their lives. 

Now, however, the program is facing budgeting cuts and potential elimination.  While the city grapples with whether to keep the program, all immigrants should take away from the success of the NYIFUP the sheer importance of legal counsel.  Deportation is a serious proceeding, but one that can often be defended against.  Immigration law is a complicated field that is ever changing. To give you a fighting chance to stand up to immigration officials, it is critical for you to retain the assistance of an immigration lawyer who will zealously advocate on your behalf. 

If you should have any questions or need more information about the way that the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Laws may impact you, your family, your friends or your colleagues, please contact the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group – VISASERVE – U.S. Immigration and Nationality Lawyers by e-mail us at info@visaserve.com or by calling us at 201-670-0006 (x107) or by visiting our Law Firm’s website at www.visaserve.com.