Mary Louise Kelly
National Public Radio (NPR)
June 7, 2019
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Organizations mentioned/involved: Americans for Immigrant Justice (AI Justice) (Miami)
KELLY: The administration position, as I alluded to, is that the number of migrant children apprehended crossing the border without a parent or guardian is at all-time record highs, that this is an emergency situation and that they’re having to process so many children that they are out of money for everything which is not – and I’ll quote – “directly necessary for the protection of life and safety.” What is your response?
ORTIZ: Well, I’d argue that legal counsel is often an issue of life and safety for these children. They have fled horrific, violent conditions in their home countries. And an order of deportation without the opportunity of due process could mean a threat to their life and safety. When we’re talking about the numbers of children coming in here, while the numbers may be higher, they’re not that substantially higher than they were in 2014. And we were able to continue and actually expand services.