Technological Triage of Immigration Cases
Additional Document Info
In the medical profession, triage refers to sorting medical resources in emergency situations based on the greatest need for immediate attention. Similarly, legal service providers talk about triaging cases to prioritize individuals with the most serious problems. But in the immigration field, the concept of triage is turned on its head. Noncitizens with the riskiest casesthose facing deportationhave the least access to legal assistance, especially if they are detained. Technology has the potential to help with triage but is not yet being used effectively to assist with deportation defense. This Article argues that utilizing technology to facilitate access to representation for noncitizens in detention is the best way to address that gap. It examines not only how legal services providers can use technology to triage immigration cases, but also how technology in detention centers and immigration courts can facilitate access to representation. The Article further contends that the Department of Homeland Security, which prosecutes deportation cases, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review, within the Department of Justice, which adjudicates them, have every incentive to adopt this technology in detention centers and immigration courts, because increased representation helps them triage their own enormous caseloads.