Category: Immigration

Update on Right to Counsel in Immigration 

by Hitha Bollu, PBI Intern The PBEye has long followed movements to secure the right to counsel because this right marks essential progress in the struggle for access to justice for all. While we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright in March, which established the right to counsel in criminal proceedings, there is still no “civil Gideon” in civil and administrative proceedings, including immigration. Therefore, people who are asserting their right to stay in the United States, including those who are detained, do not have a right to access an attorney to help them through the challenging removal proceedings process. Many non-citizens face removal

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1.9 million and counting: An Immigration Update & Pro Bono Opportunities

By Noor Khan, PBI Intern In the fiscal year 2022, there were 1,917,464 active immigration court cases backlogged in the United States, the largest in this country’s history.  This backlog includes most of the new deportation cases of 2022 (in the first two months of 2022 alone there were 310,658  proceedings filed in the United States). Through a combination of immigration court closures, shutdowns of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices, and the implementation of Title 42 which permits expulsion of many asylum seekers to Mexico, many of these cases can be attributed to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Immigration case backlogs leave individuals in a state of

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Serving Immigrants Through Pro Bono in a Pandemic

As the pandemic and election results continue to headline newspapers and networks, pressing humanitarian issues remain at the Southern U.S.-Mexico border. In 2018, approximately 2,800 families were separated under the “zero-tolerance” policy. Separated children are treated by the immigration system as unaccompanied children[1] while their parents were deported awaiting their claims pending in the US. Although the family separation policy was rescinded, agencies including the Office of Refugee Settlement (ORR), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have failed to establish a successful reunification system.

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