Caught in the Web: Immigrant Children in Removal Proceedings
19 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 15, 2016
The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate the need for adequate and free legal counsel for non-citizen children who are caught in this web of bureaucratic borders. Although immigration statutes guarantee the right to counsel, there is no counsel provided at government expense. Given children's limited knowledge of the law and of potential avenues for immigration relief, inability to contract and hire legal counsel, and "greater potential for being victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse and neglect or abandonment," children are in particular need of appointed counsel in the immigration context. Creating a stable, funded, legal defense system will benefit the overall system not only for helping these desperate children but also for system efficiency and reform that are possible when the court system operates with effective and prepared counsel.
Keywords: unaccompanied children, immigration, access to justice, right to counsel, refugees
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