Most agree that immigration law is complex. To make matters more challenging, the law is constantly in flux. Even now, President Obama’s immigration reform plan is tangled up in the Supreme Court. In a recent article released by CNN, Senator Patrick Leahy takes U.S. immigration courts to task for allowing children to represent themselves against federal prosecutors in deportation cases.
Who Are These Children?
The article points out that in many cases, these are children who come to the United States seeking safe haven. They come from countries such as El Salvador and Guatemala, which, according to a 2014 UNICEF report, have the highest rates of child murder in the world. They are here to get away from the violence. All too often, instead of being granted asylum, they are deported and sent back to their country of origin.
The problem is not just in the courtroom either. Cases against immigrant children are actively pursued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice.
Who Will Stand By Them?
The article sites a study by Syracuse University that found that the court allowed the child to remain in the country in 75 percent of cases in which the child had a lawyer, as opposed to 15 percent of cases in which the child did not have representation.
Immigration lawyers know the law and understand the options available to these children. While children may be too young to seek representation on their own, loved ones should be aware that there are lawyers who focus on these cases and can take steps to fight deportation and seek asylum. At Immigration Law Office in Chicago, we use our 20 years of experience to guide adults and children alike through this complex system.