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MEMO: 230,000 children expected over two years to cross border

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Attorney General Eric Holder seeks legal team for children on border to help 'most vulnerable'

In order to make sure the unaccompanied minors being dumped in Arizona are getting fair legal representation, the Obama administration says that they provide attorneys for the young illegal immigrant children crossing over the U.S. - Mexico border.

Numbers of undocumented children have spiked in recent weeks. Border officials have struggled to keep up with the flow.

Numbers of undocumented children have spiked in recent weeks. Border officials have struggled to keep up with the flow.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
6/9/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Children, legal representation, migrants, Eric Holder


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The project is being implemented by both the Justice Department and AmeriCorps, the government's national service organization. The effort will attempt to recruit 100 lawyers and paralegals to shepherd the children through the immigration system. In this way, they can determine if the children are eligible for legal status or protection.

"We're taking a historic step to strengthen our justice system and protect the rights of the most vulnerable members of society," Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement.

Light up the darkness -- by going here --

"How we treat those in need, particularly young people who must appear in immigration proceedings - many of whom are fleeing violence, persecution, abuse or trafficking - goes to the core of who we are as a nation," he said.

Generally from Central America, the unaccompanied children are escaping poverty, abuse or dangerous gangs back home, making the harrowing trek through Mexico and across the U.S. border without their parents or adult guidance.

The government expects more than 90,000 of the children to be apprehended on the U.S. side of the border this year with more than 140,000 the next. That doesn't include the tens of thousands more who avoid capture.

Obama administration officials have declared it an "urgent humanitarian situation" and have tried to find ways to make the children's lives easier once they get into the U.S.

Numbers of undocumented children have spiked in recent weeks. Border officials have struggled to keep up with the flow.

The effort to give the children some legal representation won praise from immigrant rights groups.

"They have real protection claims which should be heard. Without legal assistance, the likelihood of them receiving relief goes down dramatically," Kevin Appleby, director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' office of migration policy and public affairs, said.

The recent increase of migrant children in the U.S.  have some analysts saying that it's proof that the southwestern border isn't secure - and blame the influx on mixed messages from the Obama administration.

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