The U.S. Army has halted the purge of foreign born soldiers who were recruited through a program known as Military Accessions Vital to National Interest ( MAVNI) that offers citizenship to skilled immigrants in exchange for military service. The recent expulsion policy that abruptly discharged dozens of recruits from the Service is the Army’s effort to curtail a program that its leaders say poses a security risk. The Army ordered the halt to the discharges in a memorandum dated July 20, 2018 after a handful of the discharged recruits sued in federal court, prompting widespread media coverage of the purge last month.
According to a recent report by researchers at Syracuse University immigrants in the state of New York state have the greatest likelihood of engaging a lawyer and the lowest rate of deportation orders of any state with an immigration court,
The school's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) examined government data for all immigration court cases between February 2002 and February 2018 and noted that 74 percent of cases in New York State had attorneys, and just 28 percent received removal or deportation orders.
Susan Long, a statistics professor and co-director of TRAC, said it's no coincidence that New York, with so many lawyers, would have the lowest rate of deportation orders. "It is very difficult to be successful in court without representation," she said. "It’s a very complicated law that we have, and very difficult to represent yourself."
The rest of the country is a stark contrast to New York.
In Texas - which has the busiest immigration courts in the country, with more than 733,000 cases between 2002 and 2018 - only 29.1 percent of cases had lawyers, and almost 69 percent received removal orders.
California - the second busiest immigration courts- only 53.6 percent of its immigration cases were represented while 41.9 percent received removal orders.
New York has the nation's third busiest immigration court system.
Nationally, TRAC found 45.9 percent of more than 3.8 million immigration cases had legal representation and 50.9 percent of cases received deportation orders. Those who didn't fall into either camp may have chosen voluntary departure.
A recent report on HBO's "Last Week Tonight" with John Oliver highlighted the problems faced by immigrants who do not engage lawyers for representation in immigration court.