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NIJC Policy Brief: Courts of Injustice – Immigration Court System Needs Vital Fixes to Protect Human Rights

March 10, 2010

An NIJC client reunites with her children and granddaughter after being granted lawful permanent resident status in 2009. An immigration judge had previously ordered her removed when she appeared in court without a lawyer and explained she was not competent to represent herself.

via Tara Tidwell Cullen of the National Immigrant Justice Center:

As the Department of Homeland Security expands immigration enforcement programs that sweep up and detain thousands of people, the U.S. government has failed to provide the necessary resources to ensure due process in the courts that decide immigrants’ fates. The National Immigrant Justice Center’s Winter 2010 Defending Human Rights & Due Process Policy Brief offers recommendations for reforms to improve efficiency and professionalism and protect due process in the immigration court system.
Among the more than 8,000 immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, unaccompanied immigrant children, and human trafficking victims who receive legal services from the National Immigrant Justice Center every year, hundreds have encountered due process violations within the immigration courts. Dozens of these cases have escalated to the federal courts and triggered persistent criticism, particularly the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
This policy brief includes:
  • An at-a-glance view of the immigration court system and recommendations for reform based on the National Immigrant Justice Center’s extensive experience representing individuals in both the administrative and federal courts
  • A compilation of critical quotes from the Seventh Circuit
  • Links to recent comprehensive studies of the court system
  • Information about how you can speak out for important immigration court reforms
Please find the Fall 2009 policy brief attached to this email or on NIJC’s website
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