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The Champion

January 2009 , Page 53 

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Informal Opinion

By Tova Indritz

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Six Immigration-Related Criminal Justice Ideas For the New Administration And Congress

The election of President Barack Obama and a more Democratic Congress gives the nation hope of more just laws and fairer administration of those laws, and inspires us to greater creativity in considering the possibilities and opportunities that have been created. Here are six ideas and requests for the new president and Congress with respect to the intersection of immigration law and criminal law.

1. Create the right to appointed counsel in immigration proceedings and a mechanism for funding that right.

Immigration proceedings, particularly removal proceedings, can often have consequences that are extremely serious and often even more serious than the consequences of a criminal prosecution. At present, however, because these are considered civil proceedings, there is no right to appointed counsel and no mechanism for funding such counsel from public funds.

Deportation is a drastic measure, and at times t

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