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3 Dangers of Self Representation In Immigration Court Cases

Dangers of Self Representation in Immigration Court Cases

Political attitudes involving immigration and residency seem to be changing. Last year, for example, the Texas legislature enacted SB-4 in an aggressive attempt to identify, locate, and remove individuals whom they feel are not in the United States legally.

As a result, individuals faced with immigration court cases in Texas must adopt a far more strategic defense in immigration court to protect their rights.

During the past two decades, Texas deported more individuals than any other state. The majority of those deportees chose to defend themselves and ended up with an unfavorable outcome.

Self-representation in any court is a high-risk choice. Qualified immigration lawyers are knowledgeable, prepared, familiar with procedures and forms, and have had prior experience in proceedings with court officials.

Our Austin, Texas law firm, Nanthaveth & Associates, knows how to approach any immigration case appropriately and with a full understanding of how similar cases have ended. This type of experience can make the difference between success and failure.

Here are three dangers when representing yourself in immigration court cases:

(1) Making Detrimental Mistakes

Homeland Security and the United States Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) is charged with making sure that all applications or petitions related to travel or work visas, asylum, Temporary Protected Status, family matters, residency, or citizenship are accurate, timely, and fully supported with the correct documentation. Deviation or errors can mean rejection or even removal from the country.

Foreign-born individuals must understand that these government agencies are swamped with hundreds of thousands of applications and petitions each year.

Those charged with approving these applications must ensure that all information is accurate and factual. If a variation in the facts is detected, the case may simply be rejected or, at best, delayed for some period of time.

In immigration court, it is likely that you will be the only person who is not trained in immigration law. Be assured that the judge and representative of the U.S. government have studied and worked with the law extensively. Because of this, you may be “defenseless” without proper legal representation.

A professional immigration lawyer can assist in all immigration and petition processes by making sure that the material is presented in the correct format, on time, fully documented, and properly distributed to all the appropriate agencies.

(2) Lacking Knowledge of the Appropriate Laws and Procedures

Immigration and nationality laws are complicated.

If you are involved in an immigration court case, you will be addressing an experienced immigration judge as well as opposing an immigration lawyer representing the United States, who has studied immigration law extensively and works with cases like yours on a daily basis.

Losing an immigration case can result in a deportation that otherwise might have been avoided.

Experienced immigration attorneys like Nanthavet & Associates in Austin, Texas, can increase your chances of success and help to provide peace of mind. Through the process, the immigration attorney will:

  • Help to complete forms properly and provide supporting information
  • Provide a clear explanation of the laws that pertain to your case
  • Explain all available options to you and prepare a strategy for court
  • Improve your chances of success

True, there is a cost to hiring an experienced attorney. But many unfortunate individuals have learned that the cost of self-representation can be far greater.

(3) Increased Chance of DeportationSelf Representation Increases Your Chance of Deportation

According to a Texas Tribune article, Texas immigrants who face removal proceedings have been the least likely to hire an immigration lawyer. These same individuals are statistically the most likely to be deported following their trial.

In other states, where legal representation in immigration cases is higher, the removal rate was far lower.

Comparing Texas and New York, for example:

  • New York had 355,608 deportation cases, 74% with qualified lawyers, 27% removed
  • Texas had 733,125 deportation cases, only 29% with qualified lawyers, and 68% removed

This clear relationship between deportation and legal representation is true for other states as well. These statistics, from October 2000 to February 2018, represent a very clear indication of failure when trying to defend yourself in an immigration court case.

To Schedule a Free Consultation, Contact Nanthaveth & Associates in Austin

In any circumstance, whether submitting an application or defending yourself in a removal proceeding, it is important to seek qualified legal help.

Contact the experienced professionals at Nanthaveth & Associates in Austin, Texas, to schedule your free legal consultation and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having a knowledgeable and compassionate group to protect you and your family.

Call for your free consultation at (512)-371-9000. Or, you may visit the website and complete the brief consultation form, and an associate will phone you to set up the appointment.

Visit the immigration blog section of the Nanthaveth & Associates website for information on a wide range of immigration matters.

About Nanthaveth & Associates:

Nanthaveth & Associates, PLLC is a trusted immigration law firm located in both Austin, Texas and Gonzales, Louisiana. Immigration law experts at Nanthaveth and Associates are prepared to provide legal counsel for businesses, families and individuals in the areas of green cards, deportation, adjustment of status, work visas and investor visa applications, family-sponsored immigration, employer compliance, self-petitions, permanent residence, naturalization, waivers, appeals, foreign adoptions, mediation and more.

For Austin, TX immigration help call Nanthaveth & Associates at 512.371.9000