The fact is that hiring an immigration lawyer is a matter of priority. As an immigration lawyer himself, we can safely say that some immigration cases probably do not require the attention of an immigration lawyer. If a person needs to renew their green card, there is a form for it that can easily be found on the USCIS website, and they can fill it out themselves and pay the fee.
That being said, there are many very good reasons why people hire immigration lawyers:
(1) The immigration law is complex. In 2005, the Congressional Research Service reported: "The statutory scheme of defining and delimiting the rights of aliens is highly complex. Courts and commentators have stated that the Immigration and Nationality Act resembles the 'labyrinth of King Mino' in ancient Crete – Resembles, and 'second only. To the Internal Revenue Code in complexity.'
Searching for someone who can navigate complex immigration laws means the difference between being able to live and work in America and being forced to leave.
(2) Immigration attorneys can fend off prospective immigration issues. Due to the complexity of immigration law, it is difficult for individuals attempting to handle an immigration case by themselves to expedite immigration laws. This is especially important if time is running against you, which is almost always the case in immigration cases.
(3) Immigration attorneys do it much better (mathematically speaking). Statistics can be ambiguous and misleading, so I don't like to use them lightly. However, the data I am about to share with you is true and deserves your attention. Lawyers cannot guarantee a successful outcome in any case. In fact, lawyers should specifically say to every new client that "I cannot guarantee a successful outcome in your case." The lawyer can then offer these figures:
With reference to removal of proceedings (where the immigrant has not been detained):
- In immigrant immigration court 74% succeed when represented by a lawyer;
- The immigrant is 13% successful in immigration court when not represented by a lawyer.
In the context of asylum cases:
- Of the 37,266 affirmative asylum cases, 36.8 percent of the claimants represented were granted asylum, compared to 4.0 percent who were not represented;
- Of the 16,180 defensive asylum cases, 25.9 percent of the claimants represented were granted asylum, compared to 7.4 percent who were not represented.