Lawyers for nine children suspected of being illegal immigrants argued on Thursday that they have the right to a court-appointed attorney, in a lawsuit that challenges the notion that minors can competently represent themselves.
News Story (Washington)
Eric M. Johnson
Reuters News Service
March 25, 2016
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Tags: Deportation, Immigration Process
If successful, the move would change longstanding policy that only U.S. citizens are entitled to an attorney in immigration courts.
“Their only hope of having a fair proceeding is if they have a legal representative,” Matt Adams, an attorney for the children, said at hearing before Judge Thomas S. Zilly. “There is no justification for making immigration law the exception to the norm.”
The case made headlines after a federal immigration judge said in a deposition that he has been able to explain the nuances of U.S. immigration law to children as young as three- and four-years-old, provoking outrage from activists.