Publication Date



Cardozo Law Review


The immigrant representation crisis is a crisis of both quality and quantity. It is the acute shortage of competent attorneys willing and able to competently represent individuals in immigration removal proceedings. Removal proceedings are the primary mechanism by which the federal government can seek to effect the removal, or deportation, of a noncitizen. The individuals who face removal proceedings might be: the long-term lawful permanent resident (green card holder) who entered the country lawfully as a child and has lived in the United States for decades; or the refugee who has come to the United States fleeing persecution; or the undocumented immigrant caught trying to illegally cross the border. By every measure, the number of deportations and removal proceedings has skyrocketed over the last decade. Between 2000 and 2010, the number of removal proceedings initiated per year in our nation’s immigration courts increased nearly fifty percent, totaling over 300,000 last year. During that period, the representation rate of respondents in removal proceedings has remained relatively constant and abysmally low. Correspondingly, the actual number of unrepresented individuals has virtually doubled.



First Page



Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), Access to Justice, Immigration, Immigrants Rights, Immigration Court, Immigration Justice, Immigration Law, Deportation


Immigration Law | Law


Symposium: Innovative Approaches to Immigrant Representation: Exploring New Partnerships

This Report was authored by the Steering Committee of the New York Immigrant Representation Study Report: Part 1.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.