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Abstract

The immigration legal system exists as a function of the executive branch rather than the judicial branch, and many of the constitutional rights guaranteed in a judicial court do not continue into the immigration legal sphere. Noncitizen defendants in the immigration court system are not guaranteed the same due process rights or right to appointed counsel as United States citizens, which severely limits their chance of a successful outcome. Moreover, while many noncitizens await their trials in these courts, they are often placed in one of the 234 immigration detention facilities across the nation, which further exacerbates the direness of their situations. When combined together, detainment and the immigration legal system cripple noncitizens attempting to challenge their removal cases. Defendants are too often denied, through various barriers, access to a just process to try to seek relief. The current United States immigration court and detention systems are grossly inadequate for providing fair treatment for noncitizens because they operate on the assumption that noncitizens do not possess the same rights as United States citizens. It is imperative to reform the immigration system in a way that more accurately represents the ideals set forth by the American Constitution.