Putting TRAC to Work
  News Organizations
The Dallas Morning News
May 22, 2015

The ‘lottery from heaven’
By Dianne Solis

An asylum application must be based on a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a social group. Advocates for the Central American children believe they qualify because they are in an age group that places them at risk of gang violence, recruitment or exploitation. They believe the law has been interpreted too narrowly regarding the youths. Many of the the children have to represent themselves — pro se in legal terms — in their quest for asylum. They have no right to a government-paid attorney for civil deportation proceedings. Some find private attorneys who will work for free. In some cases, their parents or guardians find the money to hire an attorney. About a third of the unaccompanied children in the federal immigration courts in 2014 had attorneys. In Dallas, about 25 percent had attorneys, according to a Syracuse University research center called the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Without lawyers, they have little chance to remain legally in the U.S.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2015
TRAC TRAC at Work TRAC TRAC at Work News Organizations News Organizations