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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

6/17/2014 (9 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Immigrant kids will have access to classroom education, health care, family reunification - by law

As large numbers of the children of illegal immigrants have been almost dumped in Arizona camps after crossing the border from Central American countries, it must be noted that under current U.S. law, that they will be well cared for. As a matter of fact, these children, some of who are snuggling underneath aluminum foil blankets, will be treated even better than some children born in the U.S. under the foster care system.

Immigrant children in Arizona, under law, will be treated even better than children born in the U.S. under the foster care system.

Immigrant children in Arizona, under law, will be treated even better than children born in the U.S. under the foster care system.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/17/2014 (9 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Immigrant children, legal defense, benefits, asylum


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Based upon current immigration and asylum laws, the vast majority of these children could be legally staying in the United States before long.

Under the authority of the Homeland Security Act, the federal government transfers custody of illegal immigrant children who are apprehended alone at our borders to the Department of Health and Human Service's Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

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While this agency's chief goal is reuniting these children with a family member or legal guardian already here in the U.S., this children will receive a bevy of assistance while in custody. Some of this will include classroom education, health care, socialization/recreation, vocational training, mental health services, family reunification, access to legal services and case management.

Of all these benefits, the most important one is legal assistance. There is an outreach program in place to connect immigration attorneys willing to work on a pro-bono basis with UACs as they go through removal proceedings.

Adult illegal immigrants facing deportation or applying for a status adjustment, to find a pro-bono attorney is nearly impossible. Even lower-priced immigration attorneys are financially out of reach for most applicants. In the case of the migrant children, there is a program designed specifically to help just them, as well as unaccompanied refugee minors.

These lawyers who volunteer to help these children aren't bottom-of-the-barrel lawyers, either. Some of them work for very prestigious firms in different parts of the country.

Aided by top-drawer legal assistance, it shouldn't come as a surprise that the odds of UACs being granted some kind of legal status to stay in the United States is very high.

"Our organization, Safe Passage Project, finds that nearly 90 percent of the unaccompanied minors we meet who are facing deportation qualify for immigration relief, allowing them to remain in the United States legally." Safe Passage Project Director Lenni Benson wrote in a letter printed in the New York Times earlier this year.

"While emergency shelters provide a temporary solution for unaccompanied minors entering the United States, appointed legal counsel to enable these vulnerable young people to receive the immigration remedies for which they might be eligible would provide permanency and would truly be in their best interests."

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