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Miami Herald
June 30, 2016

Refugee children deserve their fair day in court
By Cheryl Little

Upon arrival at our border, children are entitled to due process and their day in court. But the cards are stacked against them. Rather than finding the protection they seek, children encounter a legal system that is complex, bewildering and frightening. They desperately need an attorney to navigate the convoluted worlds of immigration courts, state juvenile and family courts and the asylum office. They are not entitled to a free lawyer even though they’re up against experienced DHS lawyers who argue for their deportation. And the children’s cases are now fast-tracked — “rocket docket” — giving them little time to prepare. Nine out of 10 children without attorneys are ordered deported. Those with attorneys are five times more likely to be granted protection, according to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse. Hanging in the balance is whether a child will have a shot at the American Dream or be sent home to face violence, persecution or death. Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/op-ed/article86952357.html#storylink=cpy

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2016
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