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Dallas News
July 15, 2014

Unaccompanied migrant children lose legal cases routinely without an attorney, new report says.
By Dianne Solis

The thousands of children crossing the Texas border without a parent face another peril: Showing up in immigration court without a lawyer. So says a new report here from a Syracuse University research center that looked at 100,000 cases of unaccompanied juveniles in the nation’s 59 immigration courts. * If a juvenile has no attorney, they have a 90 percent change of getting a deportation, said the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. * If a juvenile has an attorney, they have about half a chance of staying in the U.S. The data was obtained by TRAC using the Freedom of Information Act in requests to the Executive Office of Immigration Review within the Justice Department. It is current data through June 30 of this year. “It is well established that the odds of prevailing in court are much better for an individual who has the assistance of a lawyer,” the TRAC report said. “Yet the government is under no obligation to provide legal counsel to the indigent — even if they are children — in Immigration Court proceedings. Meanwhile, the government itself is always represented by an attorney.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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