16 Feb Detained immigrants have right to legal counsel
When an immigrant is arrested in a raid in the United States, they potentially have a lot to lose. They could be deported to the nation of their birth, forced to leave other family members who are settled in the U.S., behind. Because of this, it is vital they are aware they have the right to legal assistance. In some cases an immigration attorney may be able to find a basis for an immigrant to remain in the country.
Immigration laws currently in place guaranteed immigrants in the U.S. access to an attorney when they face an order for deportation. While some people have the funds to pay for a lawyer to help them navigate the immigration system, others may seek assistance from a pro bono lawyer. Unfortunately, there are times when neither possibility is communicated to immigrants and they are deported.
We have written several posts previously on the many women and children coming to the U.S. from their native countries located in Central America. Earlier this year, 121 such individuals were arrested in raids conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some of the women arrested in those raids recently came forward and said they did not receive information regarding their right to a lawyer.
In fact one said in addition to failing to provide a legal rights presentation, when she was taken into custody, immigration officers actually told her she did not have any legal recourse. Fortunately her mother was able to contact a lawyer on her behalf to secure an emergency hold on her deportation.
The basis for an emergency hold can vary depending on each person. In this particular case the woman’s health played a role. She has a form of epilepsy that is serious enough that she should not have been a target of immigration officers.
Understanding the reasons why asylum might be granted is an area of law that most are likely not familiar with. Because of this it is important to contact an immigration lawyer for assistance.