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The New Yorker
April 27, 2015

Where Are the Children?
By Sarah Stillman


The fact that children are not entitled to free legal counsel in immigration court has serious consequences. According to Syracuse Universityís Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, eighty-five per cent of kids who face immigration proceedings without a lawyer are ordered to be deported, compared with just under thirty per cent of those who have representation. As of last October, less than a third of unaccompanied immigrant children in removal proceedings had lawyers; since then, the federal government has worked to allocate legal aid to more children through generous grants to nonprofits like Cheryl Littleís Americans for Immigrant Justice. Other groups, like Kids in Need of Defense, which has established a network of pro-bono representation through offices in eight cities, have sought to pick up the slack. But, considering the pressure created by the fast-tracked dockets, even families willing to pay for legal help canít always find it in time, and the most experienced attorneys often lack sufficient resources to put together a strong case against deportation.


Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
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