University of the District of Columbia Law Review


Careen Shannon


This article represents a pipe dream. It envisions an America where no one would be detained, deported, and exiled without the opportunity to meaningfully challenge the grounds for such drastic action against them. Specifically, it envisions an America in which Congress would act in the interest of justice to ensure that foreign nationals held in immigration detention-no, let's call it what it is: prison-while awaiting the opportunity to challenge removability before an Immigration Judge were guaranteed the right to counsel. Similarly, it imagines that even in a time of fiscal crisis and political dysfunction, a Congress that enacts some type of comprehensive immigration reform extending a path to lawful status or citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants' would not allow short-term budgetary savings and short-sighted political gains to get in the way of ensuring that low-cost, high quality legal counsel or other qualified assistance is within reach of the next generation of first-generation Americans as they attempt to navigate what is likely to be a complex process to obtain lawful immigration status and, eventually, U.S. citizenship.

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