'No Lawyer Will Stand With The Child'

'No Lawyer Will Stand With The Child'

"Plaintiffs are eight immigrant children, ranging in age from ten to seventeen. The Government has begun proceedings to deport each of them; they will soon be called to appear before an Immigration Judge. In court, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) will be represented by a trained lawyer who will argue for the child’s deportation. But no lawyer will stand with the child. Each will be required to respond to the charges against him or her, and, in theory, will be afforded an opportunity to make legal arguments and present evidence on his or her own behalf. But in reality those rights will be meaningless because children are not competent to exercise them. Each child has attempted to find representation through pro bono legal service providers, but none of them have found anyone with the resources to take on their cases. Absent this Court’s intervention, these children will be forced to defend themselves pro se under the immigration laws – a legal regime that, as the courts have recognized, rivals the Internal Revenue Code in its complexity." - J.E.F.M. v. Holder, filed July 9, 2014.