July 25, 2010

Deportation by Default

Mental Disability, Unfair Hearings, and Indefinite Detention in the US Immigration System

Summary
Key Recommendations
I. Methodology
II. Defining Mental Disability
III. Initiating Immigration Proceedings
Persons with Mental Disabilities in Immigration Court
Arrest and Initiation of Proceedings by ICE
What Happens in Immigration Proceedings
IV. Identifying Mental Disability in the Courtroom..
Why Mental Disability Matters
Identifying Disability in Immigration Court
Stigma and its Legal Consequences
V. Violations of the Right to a Fair Hearing in Immigration Court
Legal Standards Requiring Fair Immigration Hearings
Access to Justice in the Absence of Law..
Disempowered Courts
The Right to a Lawyer
An Attorney May Not Be Enough
When Safeguards Cannot Make Proceedings Fair
VI. Violations of the Right to be Free from Arbitrary Detention
Legal Standards Requiring Freedom from Arbitrary Detention
Inflexible Detention Policies
Failures to Provide Efficient Proceedings and to Limit Detention
Prolonged Detention After the Final Order of Removal
VII. Detailed Recommendations
To ensure fair immigration proceedings for people with mental disabilities
To ensure that immigration courts are aware when a person has a mental disability
To reduce unnecessary detention during immigration proceedings
To limit prolonged detention after deportation has been ordered
Acknowledgements
Appendices