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Immigration attorneys are critical to have in deportation cases

A former immigration court judge in Memphis notes that immigrants facing deportation often find themselves up against significant odds when it comes to getting a fair shake in the United States legal system.

He notes that deportation hearings often take on the form of short trials where interpreters translate what's being said or documented for those on the verge of being sent back to their home countries. In these cases, the immigrants are at the complete mercy of the judge, as there are no juries in such cases.

The judge states that there is no such thing as a public defender when it comes to receiving legal assistance or a defense in immigration cases. He adds that immigrants are either forced to pony up the money to hire attorneys to represent them in their deportation matters or are otherwise forced to go at it alone.

The evidence presented in such immigration proceedings can become a "he said, she said" ordeal whereby the government presents its case for deportation. But the immigrant only has their own testimony to rely on to justify why they should be allowed to stay in the country.

The judge also notes that, if an immigrant wants to appeal a judge's ruling, it can take an extended period of time for it to come up in front of them again.

Since President Trump was elected to office, he has remained steadfast in his campaign promise to round up those facing deportation. In recent weeks, hundreds — if not thousands — of immigrants in both Metro Atlanta and other areas of Georgia have been picked up in raids by federal officials. If you're facing deportation, you should learn all that you can about your rights under the law.

Source: Commercial Appeal, "For Manuel Duran and others in immigration court, stakes can be life and death," Daniel Connolly, April 15, 2018

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