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Sunday, November 26, 2017

An Imperfect Idea to Improve Immigration Court Practice

Immigrants often struggle to find quality representation in immigration court.  There are far too many scoundrels selling immigrants false hope and filing baseless asylum claims in exchange for up-front cash payments.  These lousy lawyers often escape accountability for years because the government deports their victims.

The best solution appears politically difficult.  It would be better to simply pay for immigration defense like we pay for criminal defense.  Sadly, the right to criminal defense does not now extend to the banishment and exile dispensed by our immigration courts.

I've thrown out an alternative, disclosing attorney track records and outcomes to prospective clients.  In theory, this would mitigate information asymmetries and help improve the market for immigration services.  The best could charge a premium for their services.  The worst might be driven out of business--which would be good for immigrants.  An immigration attorney in the bottom 10% actually reduces a client's chances below what she would face going without representation.

The proposal certainly has its warts.  Some lawyers might just duck hard cases to pad their stats and draw more clients.  Others might skew their advice to clients to obtain statistical wins for themselves.  Immigrants without enough money will still struggle to find representation.  In a best-case scenario, it's possible that securing representation by a lawyer with a strong record will make others more willing to lend to finance the representation.  It gives information that could be used to underwrite the risk.

Despite the flaws, I think it would be better to have the problems caused by too much information instead of the problems immigrants now face in a world with too little information.

Posted by Benjamin P. Edwards on November 26, 2017 at 09:30 PM | Permalink


Thanks for the post , you may check another possibility , and it is , to sue after being deported ( from abroad simply ) . Such immigrant , would considerably compromise in terms of compensation after successful verdict , and local lawyers , may sue those alleged lawyers that had represented them recklessly , and had hurt the image of the profession or occupation .

Posted by: El roam | Nov 27, 2017 1:19:12 PM

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