The vast majority of detainees, including children and the mentally ill, are forced to represent themselves in immigration court. That could, and should, change soon, according to a recent editorial in the LA Times.
“In 2009, President Obama vowed to overhaul the nation’s immigration detention system. Since then, his administration has taken some steps to deliver on that promise, such as providing detainees improved access to medical care and closing troubled facilities. But it has yet to provide the most meaningful fix: ensuring that indigent immigrants in detention have access to legal counsel.”