San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


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Does an indigent alien have a right to assigned counsel in deportation proceedings? The likelihood seems remote because the statute states that "the alien shall have the privilege of being represented (at no expense to the Government) by such counsel, authorized to practice in such proceedings, as he shall choose. Nevertheless, recent decisions have emphasized a persistent judicial concern in this area. This Article's purpose is to present an overview of the representation of aliens in deportation cases and specifically to inquire whether there is either an irrefutable legal basis for a requirement of assigned counsel or a felt need. Preliminarily, understanding the nature of the deportation process is necessary.