Not only can you be deported but also you might need to defend yourself in court
The right to free legal advice usually given to criminals in the United States does not apply to detained immigrants with a deportation order.
Many are the cases of immigrant citizens, detained and subject to immigration proceedings - with or without a deportation order - who are in front of a judge with no one to defend them.
Such is the case of Florencio Banos, a 45-year-old Salvadoran immigrant whose story was originally published by The Daily Beast. Banos was detained for more than five months at the Varick Street Detention Center in Manhattan, and when he had the opportunity to present his case before the judge, he had no lawyer to help him.
"I'll have to wait and see a lawyer from the Legal Aid Society, because I do not have the money to pay a lawyer," Banos told Immigration Judge Patricia Buchanan.
While the conditions of detention in the cases of indigent criminals and in cases of immigration detention are exactly the same, the rights to the judicial process are not remotely similar.
It seems that being an immigrant annuls the slightest right to legal defense.
According to The Daily Beast, not having a lawyer reduces the channels of assistance and impugnation, especially in the intricate immigration laws, nullifying the possibility of judicial recourse or the request for evasion of deportation. That is, an immigrant without a lawyer is a potential citizen to be expelled immediately, without the right to a defense as God commands.
Although this legal system precedes the Trump administration, it has been the new rhetoric and the new impetus of arrests and persecution against immigrants what has increased by 21% the number of cases presented to the immigration courts. The Transactional Records Access Celaringhouse of the University of Syracuse proved this, showing that by May 31 this year, the courts had received about 600,000 cases,
As reported by the New York Times in March 2013, the overcrowding circumstances faced by immigrants awaiting trial are quite prior to the new administration. At that time, about 300 immigrants in detention were in solitary confinement, without the certainty of obtaining legal assistance that could solve their situation.
"Among detainees without representation guarantees are children, mentally disabled, victims of sex trafficking, refugees, torture survivors and permanent legal residents," the New York newspaper reported.
Free legal assistance, and the organizations that provide it, usually rely on private and federal funding, which is often not enough, causing lawyers to take only a few specific or urgent cases.
The US immigration system is one of the most expensive and providing legal assistance to immigrants could double its cost. "In 2012, the Obama administration's overall budget for the enforcement of immigration law was $ 18 billion"; In the case of Donald Trump, his budget has raised some $ 185.9 million to hire new immigration agents, $ 500 million for transportation, $ 1.2 billion for nationwide arrests, and an increase of $ 2.7 billion to increase security in border.
But not a penny for legal advice.
According to Paul Grussendorf, an immigration judge in Philadelphia between 1997 and 2001, who was seen many immigrants before his court, many were qualified to stay in the country, but were finally deported because they had no legal representation.