The immigration system contains an unnecessary and unconstitutional lack of rights that is unheard of in the criminal justice system. No one should be in immigration detention without a constitutionally adequate bond hearing in which the government bears the burden of showing that detention is necessary—to protect against danger to the community or flight risk—and that no alternative release conditions would suffice.

The United States also has mandatory and disproportionate deportation laws that needlessly separate families. Reform should restore discretion to consider the equities in every individual’s case. Reform should also ensure access to counsel in immigration proceedings, as effective judicial review is an integral component of due process. More than half of individuals in immigration court proceedings are currently unrepresented, including 84 percent of those in detention.

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