Detained Immigrants and Parole Decisions: Does Legal Aid Make a Difference?

Awarded Scholars:
Daniel Chand, Kent State University
Daniel Hawes, Kent State University
Christopher Banks , Kent State University
Apolonia Calderon, University of Maryland
Project Date:
Jun 2019
Award Amount:

While immigration hearings are civil proceedings, they are commonly misunderstood as criminal. As a result, immigrants and asylees face harsh sanctions, such as detention, but are not entitled to an attorney if they cannot afford one. Nonprofit organizations attempt to help low-income immigrants but struggle with scarce resources. This raises the question: Does legal assistance to immigrants make a difference in the outcomes of their hearings? A team of political scientists and a legal scholar led by political scientist Daniel Chand will conduct a pilot study to examine the role of legal aid in detained asylum seekers’ (asylees) parole decisions. This mixed-methods field research project consists of: a random assignment legal aid experiment with asylees who are applying for parole; and follow-up interviews with legal staff and a selection of the asylee participants. 


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